Topic: Praying To The Father
Text: Luke 11:2
Key Verse: So Jesus taught them this prayer: “Our heavenly Father, may the glory of your name be the center on which our life turns. May your Holy Spirit come upon us and cleanse us. Manifest your kingdom on earth. – Luke 11:2 TPT
Jesus’ model of prayer begins with how to address the prayer. God is introduced here as a heavenly Father. Why is this label important, and how does it affect how we pray?
God had consistently revealed himself to his people through different situations, and each person had given God a name according to the revelation they received. To Hagar, God became “The one who sees me”; to Abraham, Jehovah Jireh; he was “Jehovah Nissi” to Joshua. Different encounters with people revealed an aspect of God’s nature and character until the Prophet Isaiah spoke of him as a father. In Malachi, God challenged the people to serve him in a way that revealed the type of relationship they had with him.
No one worships in your name or remains faithful. You have turned your back on us and let our sins melt us away. You, Lord, are our Father. We are nothing but clay, but you are the potter who molded us. – Isaiah 64:7-8 CEV
A son honoureth his Father, and a servant his master: if then I am a father, where is mine honor? And if I am a master, where is my fear? Saith the Lord of hosts unto you, O priests, that despise my name. And ye say, Wherein have we despised thy name? – Malachi 1:6 KJV
Jesus introduced God as our Father, and he taught that people should pray to him; at this time, the people did not know God as a Father; instead, Abraham was their Father. Jesus came to reveal God as a father, and so effective praying starts with an understanding of the Fatherhood of God. My prayer life experienced a complete turnaround when l understood that God was not just my creator but my Father.
God is not just your Father but the Father of many. This understanding might be complex for you if you have not had a good relationship with your earthly Father; if you had an abusive or absentee father. Our heavenly Father is different.
Every Father deserves honor from their children, whether they provide for them or not, but we owe them that honor by our birth. When we approach God in prayer, we must come with reverence and respect.
A child is entitled to some things from their Father; this understanding delivers from a beggarly mindset in prayer and establishes trust in the willingness of God to answer prayers.
Which one of your fathers would give your hungry child a snake if the child asked for a fish? Which one of you would give your child a scorpion if the child asked for an egg? As bad as you are, you still know how to give good gifts to your children. But your heavenly Father is even more ready to give the Holy Spirit to anyone who asks. – Luke 11:11-13 CEV
Now that we are his children, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts. And his Spirit tells us that God is our Father. You are no longer slaves. You are God’s children, and you will be given what he has promised. – Galatians 4:6-7 CEV
How do you approach prayer, confidently or unworthy? Our old life of sin disqualified us from access to God’s presence, but now that we are in Christ, we have received a new status that entitles us to come to God in prayer. Shame, fear, and guilt have been taken away from us by the sacrifice of Jesus on the Cross.
All of you are God’s children because of your faith in Christ Jesus. And when you were baptized, it was as though you had put on Christ in the same way you put on new clothes. Faith in Christ Jesus is what makes each of you equal with each other, whether you are a Jew or a Greek, a slave or a free person, a man or a woman. So if you belong to Christ, you are now part of Abraham’s family, and you will be given what God has promised. – Galatians 3:26-29 CEV
Jesus, in another parable, frowned at those who come to God in prayer with an arrogant attitude. There is a vast difference between confidence and arrogance.
Jesus told a story to some people who thought they were better than others and who looked down on everyone else: Two men went into the temple to pray. One was a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood over by himself and prayed, “God, I thank you that I am not greedy, dishonest, and unfaithful in marriage like other people. And I am really glad that I am not like that tax collector over there. I go without eating for two days a week, and I give you one-tenth of all I earn.” The tax collector stood off at a distance and did not think he was good enough even to look up toward heaven. He was so sorry for what he had done that he pounded his chest and prayed, “God, pity me! I am such a sinner.” Then Jesus said, “When the two men went home, it was the tax collector and not the Pharisee who was pleasing to God. If you put yourself above others, you will be put down. But if you humble yourself, you will be honored.” – Luke 18:9-14 CEV
We must never get familiar with God to the point we lose the awe of his presence. Yes, he is our Father, but he is a heavenly one. Note that our prayer is to our Father in heaven. What does this imply? Heaven is God’s dwelling place, a place of holiness and unlimited resources. Our heavenly Father is all-knowing, all-powerful, and almighty. How might it influence the way you come? How does this affect your expectation?
Prayer brings us into God’s presence; we ascend into his presence in worship, knowing what is acceptable before him and must remove everything that might deny us access to him.
Who may stay in God’s temple or live on the holy mountain of the Lord? Only those who obey God and do as they should. They speak the truth – Psalm 15:1-2 CEV
Let us, therefore, come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. – Hebrews 4:16 KJV
Thank you, Father, for the truth of who you are to us and how we must appear before you both in preparation, attitude, and expectation. Give us understanding, clarify our shortcomings and build our confidence in your willingness and ability to answer our prayers in Jesus’ name. Amen.