Mantra or Manna?

The last post I did triggered a train of thought about the comparison/contrast between a MANTRA and the Old Testament MANNA. Doing a quick search, I found that a MANTRA is:  a sacred verbal formula repeated in prayer, meditation, or incantation, such as an invocation of a god, a magic spell, or a syllable or portion of scripture containing mystical potentialities.  

Putting it more succintly: a commonly repeated word or phrase.  A mantra is a motivating chant, like "I think I can, I think I can" repeated over and over.  It comes from a Sanskrit word meaning "a sacred message or text, charm, spell, counsel.”

The Gathering of Manna, Bernardino Luini, c 1520
MANNA was a daily provision from the hand of God that fed the Israelites during their wilderness wanderings.  It was collected in the morning.  Before the sun came up!  When the sun came up, the manna melted and was gone.   If held over for use the next day, it spoiled and became full of maggots!   .

And manna was to be gathered every day.  It didn't work to gather enough for two days and try to hold it over. When they did, it spoiled and became full of maggots! 

Manna for the Israelites was a necessity--they could not have survived in the wilderness without it!  Nor can we!  Our manna doesn't come in the form of physical food, but spiritual nourishment.   Jesus is the Living Manna - Bread from Heaven.  His Word, the Bible, is the Written Manna.  Both are meant to be gathered, ingested, and experienced daily

Mantras are recited; manna is received.
Mantras are formulaic; manna is food.
Mantras "invoke" spells; manna "imparts" life.
Mantras are limited to a few words; it takes 66 books in the Bible to contain the written manna.

To reduce MANNA to a MANTRA is to fall short of the spiritual nourishment God has provided for us!  
To treat MANNA like a MANTRA is to miss the spiritual health and vitality
necessary for life in the wilderness of our daily lives.
I want to continue to gather it early.
Before the sun comes up and the opportunity to gather it melts away in the busyness of life.
FRESH manna for me - not yesterday's MANTRA.


  1. Thank you for good manna - excellent post. And, I so agree, before the sun comes up is the best part of the day to spend with Lord.


  2. Reminds me of Jesus warning not to use vain repetitions while praying, a habit I think is all too common among church folk. (lest we proudly believe that mantras are limited to the unbelieving). There was a deacon in a church I attend ed who regularly slept through the sermon. When called upon to pray at the end of the service, he would shake himself awake, then pray the same prayer every week! Vain re-petition! Mantra. Same thing!

  3. Hi Rebecca,
    A great post, cause God's word is truly manna, food from heaven for our souls.
    I like to spend time with him anytime..........but early morning seems to be the best cause like you say the issues of the day can sure take it's place if we are not careful.
    Hope all is well with you and yours,
    Blessings, Nellie

  4. Wonderful word, Rebecca. I agree early, early morning is the most wonderful time to get quiet before the Lord. Although I am finding my house equally quiet some evenings as well. I am enjoying a second quiet time that lets me thank Him for all the ways He spoke and was with me through out the day.

  5. Hi Rebecca,
    I just discovered your blog and inspiring posts. How true that before the sun comes up is a special time to gather spiritual nourishment.

  6. Amen...I don't need yesterdays I need to is the bread of life. Thank you


Writing a Song a Week #3

Writing a Song a Week #3
♪ I wait for the Lord; my soul waits and in his word I hope. My soul waits for the Lord more than watchmen for the morning ♪ (Psalm 130:5-6)