Most of us can say the Lord’s Prayer by rote. It it the example Jesus gave in Matthew 6:9-13 as to how to prayer. It was not mandatory or meant to be obligatory as to the memorization of words but simply as a format. In school, we were given sample business and personal letters to introduces us to salutation, body and closing. This is similar to the point Jesus was making on how to pray. Salutation, body and closing. The important points to cover when we commune with HIM.
I was reading Matthew the 6th chapter this morning and stopped cold on “Give us this day our daily bread” and backed up to “Give us this day”. When I was first diagnosed with Early-onset Alzheimer’s, I remember very clearly asking my husband how on earth we could handle this news. “We take one day at a time,” he said as he wrapped his arms around me and we cried together. One day at a time, I remind myself but never really applied it until this moment in time when this simple phrase took my breath away.
“Give us this day” is a request for something not expected or guaranteed. There is a scripture in Proverbs, I believe about the 27th chapter that tells us not to boast about the morrow, because we have no idea what it holds. Another scripture says we are but a mist, here for just a moment before vanishing. James reminds us to say, “If the Lord wills, then I will do such and such”. Only God knows the number of our days. Job 14:5.
This day for me will be as different from yesterday as night and day. History over the past several months has enlightened me to the fact that no two days have the same symptoms. Some days my thoughts are clear, but cannot focus on one thought. Some days my skills are off and I pour a cup of coffee over myself. Sometimes I lose time and other days I count the minutes ticking by. Some days I sleep around the clock and other days I cannot sleep at all. Sometimes I can choose what to wear and other days it’s best to stay in my jammies. Some days, I can make a simple recipe and another day I may toss something in frustration and walk out of the kitchen. Sometimes I can do a load of laundry and another day use the washer for a trash can.
But every single day is filled with anxiety. The anxiety wears me out and wears on the nerves of those around me. I get confused when we are out in the car and I suddenly have no idea where we are and panic. If we go to dinner, the server brings what I order but I cannot remember ordering it and have no idea what they have just served me. I ache to have my husband holding my hand constantly. I wear several bracelets that spin on my wrist to help distract me. I have a phone cover filled with purple glitter to distract me. I carry a lace-edged handkerchief to distract me. If I don’t have a distraction the anxiety provokes me to scratch holes in my skin.
This morning, I am simply beginning to ask God for this day. Not for my wants or my needs, but just for the day. I have typed it into the notes that I read every morning. “Lord, give me this day, please.” At night, before laying my head to rest, I will simply say, “Lord, thank YOU for this day.” There is a reason that stood out to me today. As I read just the first portion again, “Give us this day” I felt a sweet measure of peace. I will not plead or beg HIM but just request with a measure of faith and confidence that HE is fully capable of seeing me through another day of this journey. After all, HE is faithful. All ways!