Karl Barth on what it means to pray “Give us this day our daily bread”

Karl Barth, Prayer, 50th Anniversary Edition (Westminster John Knox, 2002), 51–52. As always, bold is mine.
We must . . . say: “Act in such a way that thou dost not give it us in vain, so that we may truly receive this bread which thou has prepared on thy table in the holy Communion, so that we may take from thy hands this bread which thou hast created for us and which thou givest us. Help us, then; illumine us. May we not behave like well-satisfied bourgeois or like greedy creatures at the moment when thou bestowest upon us anew this incomprehensible and incompatible gift, this gift of thy patience, and of our hope. Act in such a way that we do not squander and destroy this gift. Grant that we may each receive our bread without dispute or quarrel. Grant that all who have a surplus of this bread may know by this very fact that they are appointed as servants, as dispensers of thy grace, that they are in thy service and in the service of others. And grant that those who are particularly threatened by hunger, death, and this precariousness of the human condition may meet brothers and sisters who have open eyes and ears to feel their responsibility. How shameful is our social ingratitude and injustice! How senseless it is that in this humanity surrounded by thy gifts there are people still dying of hunger!



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