Wednesday, October 17, 2012

The Lord's Prayer - Part 1

We're studying Jesus' teaching on prayer and I thought it might be good to write out some of the things I've been thinking about. This prayer in Matthew 6 is how we should pray according to Jesus. What does he include in this short prayer and how can this be helpful in my own praying?

Our Father in heaven.  The first thing to notice is that our praying is based on a relationship, the relationship with God as our father. Some people believe that God is the father of everyone. In one sense that is true because God created everyone. But in another way it is not true. In John 1:12 we read, "But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name."  It is clear that God has given the right to become children of God to some people. Who are they? Those who receive Christ; those who believe in His name. 

In 2 Corinthians 6:17-18 Paul, quoting from Isaiah 52 writes, "Come out from among them and be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, and I will receive you. I will be a Father to you and you shall be My sns and daughters, says the Lord Almighty."

What I gather from this is that since God is holy, that is separate and distinct from us as sinners, he calls us to be separate and holy as well. So when we receive Christ and believe on his name, we are stepping out from the crowd and identifying with Christ. He is Father in a particular way to such people. It is those people, his disciples that he is instructing to pray to him as Father.

When we are in this kind of relationship with God, we can rightly address him as Father. It's a term of endearment. Romans 8:15 uses the term "Abba, Father." It's like viewing God as our daddy in the sense that he loves us and cares for us and as his children we are in an intimate relationship with him.

So if we have truly come to Christ in faith, we have become God's children and have the right and privilege of coming to God in prayer as his precious child. The writer to the Hebrews tells us in 4:16 to "come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need." So let's do it!

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