And When You Pray :: Our Father

Take a moment to pray, as you did yesterday, and ask God to reveal Himself to you today through His word.

“In this manner, therefore, pray…” (Matthew 6:9a NKJV)

The gospels record several different occasions in which Jesus prayed, but this is the only time we see the model prayer; and we do not read about Jesus saying this prayer repeatedly.  Remember in the verses before He teaches us not to use vain repetitions.  I believe we are welcome to pray this prayer word-for-word, however, it needs to be heart-felt and not said as a simple recitation.

If you google the definition of the word manner you’ll find “a way in which a thing is done or happens.”  Jesus is giving a template for prayer; a template that includes 1) honoring the Father, 2) seeking His will, 3) asking for provision, 4) seeking forgiveness, and 5) seeking guidance, protection, and sanctification.

In verse nine Jesus begins His model prayer by honoring the Father.

“Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name.” (Matthew 6:9b NKJV)

The first word, our, is often over looked but holds much significance.  Our is a possessive plural pronoun, simply meaning multiple people are claiming possession of something.  In this case, many people, not just me or you, claim God as their Father.  {{If you have time listen to this inspirational sermon}}

Because everyone has a father, whether a good one or a bad one, I think the word father has lost some of its importance.  It is a common word and even the most common man can become a father.  However, we are not just praying to any father here.  We are praying to thee Father; the Author of our Christian family; the One who looks after us and teaches us; the Creator of the universe; the Father of Jesus.  He is the Father who has united us, through Christ, to Himself in the closest bond of love and intimacy.  The role of our Heavenly Father is one that our earthly fathers can never fill no matter how great a father he may be.

And He is not just my Father.  Nor is He is not just your Father.  He is the Father to all His children, to all who are baptized into Christ (Galatians 3:26-29).  And this Father does not play favorites like our earthly fathers may have.  He has a close bond of love and intimacy with each of us.  Which begs the questions: How are we treating those who the Father treasures?  Do we value those that God calls His children?

This portion of prayer also teaches us to recognize that the name of God is hallowed.  In other words, His name is holy, which is perfect, pure and the exact opposite of common.  And if His name alone is holy, how much more is His character?

Recognizing His holiness and His love for others should lead us to honor His will for, not only our lives, but for the lives of those around us as well.

Take a moment and look these passages up in your Bible: Leviticus 19:2, John 3:16, Galatians 3:26-29, Ephesians 1:3-6, and Hebrews 2:10-11.  Focus on these verses, but also read them in context. Listen to what the Holy Spirit is speaking to your heart.

Once you are done reading respond to the Lord in prayer.  Feel free to pray the following prayer as your own; however, do not just speak it vainly, pray it from your heart.

Lord in heaven, You are not just my holy Father, but the holy Father of many.  I am so thankful that You have chosen me to have a intimate bond of love with.  I recognize, however, I am not the only one You have chosen.  You sent your Son to this earth so that whoever believes in Him would not perish.  You call all who believe in Your Son Your child.  You love us all and do not play favorites.  You value each of us.  Teach me how to value and love Your children — my brothers and sisters in Christ.  In Your name I pray.  Amen.

Now it’s your turn to share your thoughts.  Please do not ever take my thoughts as fact.  Read God’s word for yourself and ask Him for clarification and guidance.  So that said, what do these passages say about the character and holiness of God?  What do they say about His relationship with His children?  How should we respond to this knowledge?

Only by grace,

Kelli

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