This article seeks to reconstruct the phrase τὸν ἄρτον ἡμῶν τὸν ἐπιούσιον (Mt 6:11; Lk 11:3) in the light
of an African predicament with the Ewe-Ghanaian context in focus. The article posits that the
various interpretations of the phrase throughout the epochs of Christianity have arisen as a result
of the ambiguity associated with ἐπιούσιος and the quest to make the Lord’s Prayer in general
relevant to the life situation of the recipient communities. Although the Lord’s Prayer is still
regarded as a prayer par excellence in the Ewe-Ghanaian Christian community, its central theme in
popular Ewe-Ghanaian spirituality has been demonological instead of eschatological. The
demonological interpretation is premised on the primal Ewe belief that successful spiritual warfare
against the evil forces believed to be militating against one’s destiny in life can restore one’s fortunes
and lead to the blessing of material prosperity. Thus, the phrase τὸν ἄρτον ἡμῶν τὸν ἐπιούσιον
(Mt 6:11; Lk 11:3) in popular Ewe-Ghanaian Christian spirituality is a call on God to ‘grant us the
blessing of material prosperity, good health and longevity’. The demonological approach towards
material prosperity, however, is discontinuous with the evangelisation approach, which was
introduced into Ewe-Ghanaian spirituality through missionary activities in the mid-19th century.
The missionaries identified the cardinal Ewe-Ghanaian predicament – poverty of the mind and
spirit – and addressed them holistically through the message of the Gospel and the establishment
of schools, hospitals, and agriculture to guarantee food security. This holistic approach to alleviating
the poverty of the spirit and mind laid the foundation for the socio-economic development of their
Ewe-Ghanaian Christian converts and the communities in which they practise their faith.
CONTRIBUTION: This article forms part of the researcher’s contribution to the academic knowledge
on the Lord’s Prayer and inspires the use of Mother Tongue Biblical hermeneutics in the
development of theological materials for the Ewe-Ghanaian Christian communities in Ghana,
Togo, and Benin.