by D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (selected by Frank Cumbers)
These three petitions answer all our needs
All our great needs are summed up in [these three petitions]. "Give us this day our daily bread." "Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors." "And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil." Our whole life is found there in those three petitions, and that is what makes this prayer so utterly amazing.
In such a small compass our Lord has covered the whole life of the believer in every respect. Our physical needs, our mental needs, and, of course, our spiritual needs are included. The body is remembered; the soul is remembered; the spirit is remembered. And that is the whole of man: body, soul, and spirit.
Think of all the activities going on in the world at this moment: the organizing, the planning, the legislation, and all other things; they are for the most part concerned with nothing but the body of man, his life and existence in this world of time. That is the tragedy of the worldly outlook, for there is another realm, the realm of relationships—the soul, the thing whereby man makes contact with his fellow man, the means of communication with one another, and all social life and activity. It is all here.
And above all, we have the spiritual, that which links man with God and reminds him that he is something other than dust and that, as Longfellow says, "Dust thou art, to dust returnest, was not spoken of the soul." Man has been made this way; he cannot escape it, and our Lord has provided for it.
We cannot fail to be impressed by the all-inclusiveness of these petitions. That does not mean that we should never enter into details; we must; we are taught to do so. We are taught to bring our life in detail to God in prayer; but here we have only the great headings. Our Lord gives us these, and we fill in the details; but it is important for us to be sure that all our petitions should belong under one or other of the headings.
Studies in the Sermon on the Mount, ii, pp. 67-8
Comments on D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, A First Book of Daily Readings
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