“Give Us This Day Our Daily Bread”

Psalm 103 for Two Voices with a Drummed Accompaniment

The following service was written for a devotional time before a church meeting, but it could easily be adapted for congregational worship. It is centered around Psalm 103 and the petition “give us this day our daily bread,” which would be fitting for Thanksgiving Day or any other service with gratitude as its central theme. You could add to what is found below or simply use the reading of Psalm 103. 

The psalm has been adapted for two voices, indicated by different colors. The bolded words could be spoken by the two voices together, or the congregation could echo that line after each voice speaks it. If you choose the latter, be sure to have the text projected or printed, and provide a clear gesture inviting the congregation to join. Alternatively, start by reciting the “Forget not all God’s benefits” refrain twice so the congregation is familiar with the pattern before moving on to the psalm itself. 

A djembe, cajon, or hand drum would work best for the underlying drum pattern found on p. 31. The pattern should be steady, even a bit unrelenting, but should not overwhelm the voice parts. Practice several times together so it feels natural—neither too deliberate or rushed—and so the drum and voices are able to stay together.

Opening Songs of Praise

“The Goodness of Jesus” Farren et al. 
“Yet Not I, but through Christ in Me” Farren et al.

Lighting the Christ Candle and Call to Worship

[Congregation is seated.]
We light this candle to remember that God is with us.  
[Light candle.]
“Come, all you who are thirsty, 
come to the waters; 
and you who have no money, 
come, buy and eat!  
Come, buy wine and milk 
without money and without cost. 
Why spend money on what is not bread, 
and your labor on what does not satisfy? 
Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good,  
and you will delight in the richest of fare.”
—Isaiah 55:1–2

God, we come to you today thirsty for your goodness. 
Fill us, Lord; fill our hearts with your love. 

Song: “Como el ciervo (Like a Deer)” Salinas and Bringle, LUYH 504, SSS 380

As Christ-followers, 
we thirst for God because we know 
that God alone is the giver of all good things. 
Listen to these words from Psalm 103: 

Scripture Reading: Psalm 103

Praise the Lord, my soul;
      all my inmost being, praise his holy name.
Praise the Lord, my soul,
      and forget not all his benefits—

[Drum pattern begins, matching the vocal rhythmic pattern.] 

Forget not all God’s benefits. 
Forget not all God’s benefits.
Forget not all God’s benefits.

[Drum pattern continues underneath the spoken word.] 

who forgives all your sins
      and heals all your diseases,
who redeems your life from the pit
      and crowns you with love and compassion,
who satisfies your desires with good 
      so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

[Drum pattern and voices together.] 

Forget not all God’s benefits. 
Forget not all God’s benefits.
Forget not all God’s benefits. 

[Both the drum and the voices begin to grow in intensity.] 

The Lord works righteousness
      and justice for all the oppressed.
He made known his ways to Moses,
      his deeds to the people of Israel:
The Lord is compassionate and gracious,
      slow to anger, abounding in love.
He will not always accuse,
      nor will he harbor his anger forever;
he does not treat us as our sins deserve
      or repay us according to our iniquities.
For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
      so great is his love for those who fear him;
as far as the east is from the west,
      so far has he removed our transgressions from us.
As a father has compassion on his children,
      so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him;
for he knows how we are formed,
      he remembers that we are dust.

[Drum pattern stops on the word “dust.” After a pause, the second voice continues without the drum.]  

The life of mortals is like grass,
      they flourish like a flower of the field;
the wind blows over it and it is gone,
      and its place remembers it no more.
But from everlasting to everlasting
      the Lord’s love is with those who fear him,
      and his righteousness with their children’s children—
with those who keep his covenant
      and remember to obey his precepts.
The Lord has established his throne in heaven,
      and his kingdom rules over all.

[Drum pattern resumes under the spoken text.] 

Forget not all God’s benefits. 
Forget not all God’s benefits.
Forget not all God’s benefits. 

Praise the Lord, you his angels,
      you mighty ones who do his bidding,
      who obey his word.
Praise the Lord, all his heavenly hosts,
      you his servants who do his will.
Praise the Lord, all his works
      everywhere in his dominion.
Praise the Lord, my soul.

Song: “Great Is Thy Faithfulness” Chisholm, LUYH 348, SSS 48, GtG 39 

Reflection: “Give Us This Day Our Daily Bread”

Today’s reflection focuses on the fourth petition of the Lord’s Prayer: “Give us today our daily bread” (Matthew 6:11). Q&A 125 of the Heidelberg Catechism explains the petition this way: 

“Give us this day our daily bread” means:
Do take care of all our physical needs
so that we come to know
that you are the only source of everything good,
and that neither our work and worry
nor your gifts
can do us any good without your blessing.
And so help us to give up our trust in creatures
and trust in you alone.

It can be easy in times of high anxiety to lose our grounding, forget that it is God who provides for us and is the source of everything good, and fail to trust in God alone. So today you are invited to spend some time reflecting on Psalm 103. As you reflect on that psalm, think about the “daily bread” that God is providing for you today. 

  • Where do you see God’s blessings in your life? 
  • What benefits should you not forget? 

Challenge yourself to look deeply. Feel free to write one or more of the blessings on the papers found [name location]. When you are finished, you are invited to bring the papers forward and place them [name location. Alternatively, pass baskets to collect them]. We will take these gratitudes and create a gratitude wall [name location] so that we will “forget not all God’s benefits.” 

[Allow at least a few minutes for quiet reflection, then play or sing the following song as the papers are brought forward or gathered in baskets.]

Song: “Santo, Santo, Santo, mi corazon (Holy, Holy, Holy, My Heart)” DeMoor and Selles, LUYH 595, SSS 452, GtG 595  

[Invite the congregation to stand.]

Song: “Bless the Lord, O My Soul” Crouch, LUYH 516, SSS 547 

Prayers of the People 

We have so much to be grateful for, and so often we forget to express our gratitude to the Giver of all gifts. Sometimes we also forget that for some people in our congregations, our community, our nation, and our world, the prayer “Give us today our daily bread” is an urgent one, prayed out of overwhelming need. Let us join in a prayer of petition for the needs of the world. We will conclude with the Lord’s Prayer that will be projected on the screen. 

[Include your own prayers of the people here, concluding with the Lord’s Prayer.] 

Sending and Blessing

In gratitude to God, 
and empowered by the Spirit,
let us also strive to serve Christ
in the tasks set before us this day,
and at all times live holy and joyful lives,
even as we watch for God’s new heaven and new earth. 
—Reprinted by permission from The Worship Sourcebook, Second Edition © 2013, Faith Alive Christian Resources (TWS D9.1.1, adapted) 

May the God of peace himself sanctify you entirely;
and may your spirit and soul and body be kept sound
and blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 
—1 Thessalonians 5:23, NRSV


Closing Hymn: “Now Thank We All Our God” Rinkart and Winkworth, LUYH 543, SSS 485, GtG 643

Rev. Joyce Borger is senior editor of Reformed Worship and a resource development specialist at the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship.

Reformed Worship 152 © June 2024, Calvin Institute of Christian Worship. Used by permission.