THE SCHOOL & FAMILY CATECHIST,
by Rev. Willliam Smith (1834)
The Westminster Shorter Catechism, Question 104.
Q. 104. What do we pray for in the fourth petition?
A. In the fourth petition, which is, “Give us this day our daily bread,” we pray, That of God’s free gift, we may receive a competent portion of the good things of this life, and enjoy his blessing with them.
God’s free gift. –The good things of this life, are equally God’s free gift, with the blessings of salvation in the world to come; for, although we labor for them, it is He alone who gives us strength for labor, opportunities for being employed, and who crowns our exertions with success.
Competent portion. –A share of the good things of this life, sufficient to supply our present wants.
Enjoy God’s blessing. –That we may have God’s favor, along with what we receive for our bodily support, which alone can make the creatures comfortable and useful to us.
We are here told, that the words of the fourth petition, “Give us this day our daily bread,” expresses, in prayer, three things :
1. We pray that we may receive a competent portion of the good things of this life. –Prov. xxx. 8. Remove far from me vanity and lies: give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with food convenient for me.
2. That we ask this of God’s free gift. –Gen. xxxii. 10. I am not worthy of the least of all they mercies.
3. That we may enjoy God’s blessing along with the good things which we receive. –Psal. xc. 17. Let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us; and establish thou the work of our hands upon us; yea, the work of our hands, establish thou it.