Feed us with earthly bread, yes. We all need to eat to survive and more than survive, to live. Perhaps Jesus is reminding the people of their complete reliance on God for food. Of giving their trust completely to God, who, when they need him, when they rely on him, when they trust in him, absolutely and totally, like the Israelites did, who received Manna from heaven in the desert, whose dependence was total, God will feed them without doubt.
Jesus demonstrates this giving of food without shortness of supply when he feeds the 5000. His confidence and Trust in the Father is total. The abundance of food that flows from this confidence and relationship with the Father is immeasurably more than we need.
This is Jesus message, see how much the Father loves each of us and all creation, such that even the Lilies in the field and the sparrows are provided for. How much more he will feed and provide for his earthly children.
Not only does the Father feed us with physical food, he provides us with the bread of heaven.
He gives us the living energy of life, the light, to shine in us and help us grow, for we continually need spiritual sustenance.
But also, never forget that he is ultimately and also praying for himself and his own journey through the Passion. Let us not forget that Jesus is himself to become the living bread of heaven and earth, the one that unites both in a mystery, a holy mystery beyond words and description, where his body will become the living bread for us all to receive, for all time as the Holy Eucharist.
He is praying that he will have the strength and confidence in God, His father, to enable him and hold him on his journey into suffering, such that his body and his life will be given, transfigured, transformed into the bread of life, that will feed us forever.
He is asking that the Father’s will be done in him that he can be the daily bread of the people.
There are so many layers of truth and knowledge in this one line, yet which cannot truly be separated from the whole of the prayer, because it is all about deliverance of Jesus Christ and all of us, held in and through him, that Jesus mission of love will totally succeed, that is the core of this prayer: Jesus prayer to the Father. His need and his intention so much more profound than the more simple lives of those whom he also included in the prayer.
This is a multi- level alive prayer that can be appropriate for each and every one of us, no matter what our need and what our life is like.
It can be prayed on whatever level of need we have, for it is deep and wide as the ocean and the provision available is deeper and wider still.
When our need is total, your response is absolute Lord and we give thanks and praise for this wonder.