But this prayer teaches us (3.) the duty of depending on the favour of God. As the phrase, OUR BREAD, implies a promise of the industry necessary to obtain it in a lawful manner, so the prayer that God may GIVE it to us, contains an acknowledgment that our industry will be of no avail without the divine blessing. It deserves notice that the same chapter of the Book of Proverbs which contains those words, "the hand of the diligent maketh rich,"4 contains also these words, "the blessing of the Lord, it maketh rich, and he addeth no sorrow with it."1 Before engaging in any work which may belong to our respective callings, let us earnestly implore the blessing of God upon our labours. This is particularly necessary every morning, when we are about to undertake our daily and ordinary duties. Moses2 has furnished us with words singularly appropriate to such occasions: "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." "The work of our hands," which is mentioned more than once, implies a promise of industry; but a consciousness of dependance on the divine kindness, and a desire to obtain it, are as plainly expressed by the prayer, that "the beauty of the Lord our God may be upon us, and that he may establish the work of our hands."
4 Prov. 10.4
1 Prov. 10.22
2 Ps. 90.17
Sunday, July 11, 2010
Establish Thou The Work of Our Hands
Herman Witsius, Sacred Dissertations on the Lord's Prayer, pp. 301-302: