Maslow’s hierarchy places physical needs at the base level. We cannot even assess higher needs if we fail to meet our basic needs. Food is a basic need.
The devil tempted Jesus by appealing to this basic need. “If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become bread.” Jesus answered, “It is written: Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.” Mt 4:3-4
By answering this way, Jesus alerts us to a need more basic than food. We need God more than we need food. More than we need water. More than we need shelter.
We do need food, shelter and water, but we need the provider of these things more. He is the bread of life, the water from which we will never thirst, and our refuge and fortress.
Most of us have the basics of food and shelter. With the basic needs covered, we pray for the higher needs to be met. We pray for love, fulfillment and meaning. We pray for things to work out according to our desires. We need love, fulfillment, meaning, but we need the provider more.
We often look at God like a supermarket. We walk into his presence with a list of what we need while taking for granted the fact that we, sinful man, are even allowed to be in his presence. God is more personal than a supermarket. In fact, that’s a horrible analogy for God. God is all knowing and God is love. In his love, God knows what we need better than we do.
The hardest part of prayer is realizing our relationship with God is more important than our personal needs, no matter how significant those needs are. No matter how heartfelt our desires are, we are to desire God first.
What if our need for hunger is greater than our need for food? What if our need for pain is greater than our need for healing? What if we need to be broken? Brokenness strips away pride. Brokenness reveals our inabilities. Brokenness reveals our need for God…our most basic need of all.