Bible Book: Matthew / Matteus
Verse (to): 16
Text: Matthew 6:11-16
With three short requests to our Father, Jesus invites his disciples to come to God with their basic needs.
What people experience as their (three) basic needs, will probably differ widely from Jesus’ “short-list”. Jesus’ “short-list for our needs” is of course not a complete list. What I experience as an urgent need today, I may definitely add to that list. One could also say that each of these prayers represents a much larger spectrum of needs.
Still, it makes sense to take the three prayers or requests as Jesus formulates them seriously. The prayer for bread, forgiveness and protection from evil reveals our dependence on God. For those of us who apparently succeed in meeting our own needs, this prayer becomes a training school in which we discover how dependent we really are on our Father. Almost like the child from the city who goes to a farm and, when he sees a cow being milked by hand, remarks, “Fortunately we don’t need cows; our milk comes in plastic containers.”
The three requests for basic needs in Matthew 6:11-13 also remind us that there are still people to whom this prayer is a plea for survival. The impact of the AIDS pandemic means that this group of people is much bigger than a decade or two ago. Aids statistics tell of more and more people for whom healthy food has become crucially essential and for whom reconciliation is painfully missing in their lives.
When Jesus teaches us to pray for OUR needs, we may never forget these brothers and sisters in our prayers.