June 19, 2023 • Life for Leaders
Scripture — Psalm 132:13-15 (NRSV)
For the LORD has chosen Zion;
he has desired it for his habitation:
“This is my resting place forever;
here I will reside, for I have desired it.
I will abundantly bless its provisions;
I will satisfy its poor with bread.”
As we pray for our “daily bread,” we recognize that we are asking God to bless the work of those who grow, prepare, and sell it.
God promises to bless Zion, including its provisions of food and its bread. These are indeed gifts from God. But, except in unusual times – like the giving of manna in the wilderness – God’s giving of food to eat comes through human effort. God blesses us with food by blessing the work of those who grow, prepare, and sell it.
Gracious God, thank you for promising to bless the food provisions of your people. Thank you for providing bread to satisfy the hunger of the poor.
As I reflect on your generous provision, Lord, I’m struck by the fact that you almost always provide by means of human labor. Yes, you did supply manna in the wilderness, but even that needed to be collected by people. You didn’t simply drop it into the stomachs of the Israelites.
Why does this matter? Because I’m struck by the fact that when we pray, “Give us this day our daily bread,” we’re in effect praying for work and workers. We’re praying for wheat farmers, harvesters, truck drivers, suppliers, silo-makers, bakers, energy suppliers, bakeries, grocery stores, and so much more.
So, with this awareness, I ask you today to bless the work of all whose efforts bring food to my table. I thank you for them and what they do. I ask that you help them to flourish. Give them wisdom and protection. May they be fairly compensated for their work and treated with justice in their workplace.
For all you do so that we might eat well, thank you, gracious God. Amen.
Ponder Throughout the Day
As you eat today, thank God for blessing the work of those whose efforts brought food to your table.
For Further Reflection
Read all of Psalm 132.
You may also wish to read 2 Corinthians 9:6-12.
Banner image by DDP on Unsplash.
Find all Life for Leaders devotions here. Explore what the Bible has to say about work at the High Calling archive, hosted by the unique website of our partners, the Theology of Work Project. Reflection on today’s Life for Leaders theme can be found here: A Prayer for Church Leaders.
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Dr. Mark D. Roberts is a Senior Strategist for Fuller’s Max De Pree Center for Leadership, where he focuses on the spiritual development and thriving of leaders. He is the principal writer of the daily devotional, Life for Leaders, and the founder of the De Pree Center’s Flourishing in the Third Third of Life Initiative. Previously, Mark was the Executive Director of the De Pree Center, the lead pastor of a church in Southern California, and the Senior Director of Laity Lodge in Texas. He has written eight books, dozens of articles, and over 2,500 devotions that help people discover the difference God makes in their daily life and leadership. With a Ph.D. in New Testament from Harvard, Mark teaches at Fuller Seminary, most recently in his D.Min. cohort on “Faith, Work, Economics, and Vocation.” Mark is married to Linda, a marriage and family counselor, spiritual director, and executive coach. Their two grown children are educators on the high school and college level.