Okay, let’s make a quick list. If you had to write down what you need, what would top your list? Let me take a stab at what you might write.
If you’re like most folks, your list of what you need may read something like this:
- I need a new iPhone, Android, techie-whatever.
- I need more money and more time.
- I need my spouse to listen to me.
- I need more respect at work.
- I need a friend.
What DO you need? Ask that question to ten different people, you’ll likely get eleven different answers. But your needs aren’t subjective.
God has revealed what you need.
Where to Find What You Need
The Lord knows your needs intimately. He created you to have them. You’ll find the concise list in a most unlikely spot.
Usually we think of the Lord’s Prayer as that liturgical text we mutter in unison along with the pastor and congregation. Instead of really praying the prayer, we tend to focus on keeping tempo with everyone else (though there’s always that awkward moment before “debts” or “transgressions”—which do we say?)
Although it’s not unbiblical to regurgitate the prayer in unison, I’m convinced Jesus had something else in mind. Something entirely different.
Obviously, the prayer lists various topics we should bring up before God.
- The prayer helps with anger and also with painful relationships.
- Some Bible teachers even argue the order is important as a pattern for prayer (though you’ll find that contradicted repeatedly in the Psalms).
But did you notice how Jesus introduced those topics?
Your Father knows what you need before you ask Him. Pray, then, in this way . . . —Matthew 6:8–9
The Lord’s Prayer is God’s perspective on what you need. And here’s where Jesus began the prayer:
Our Father who is in heaven, hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. —Matthew 6:9–10
Okay, sure—that’s a great place to start. Let’s give God His due. He comes first, of course. That makes sense. Now, on to our needs . . .
Wait a second.
What You Need Most
Jesus puts this first for good reason. These words mean more than just giving God a holy hat-tip or curtsy. Or offering Him some obligatory salutation. Or buttering Him up for our real requests.
Remember, this prayer lists our needs. Our most basic need? To paraphrase the opening line, we need:
- To rededicate our commitment to a holy God.
- To renew our hope for the next life.
- To reaffirm our submission to God’s will in this life.
So easy to pray, but it’s tough to comprehend that this is what you need. It may not be the first item on your list of what you need, but what Jesus mentions first remains the essential filter for all needs that follow.
This first need puts all the others on the list of what you need in perspective.
Tell me what you think: How does this first need affect the rest of what you need on your list? To leave a comment, just click here.