Prayer and Our Relationship with God
Scripture Reading: Matthew 6:6-8
Key Verse: Matthew 6:9
“This, then, is how you should pray: ‘Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name’”
The term “Father” is found in the Old Testament, but it is here in Jesus’ own words that we get a more intimate and warmer feel to our prayers. Jesus refers to God in ways that we are familiar: a parental relationship. It is true that our earthly fathers are not always good examples of their title, but Jesus had just finished teaching about the goodness of our heavenly Father. Jesus explained how He watches and rewards those who secretly go about the kingdom business of giving, prayer and fasting.
The New International Version of the Bible, as well as most other translations of the Bible, accurately tells us of Jesus’ insistence on starting our prayers properly. “This, then, is how you should pray” is a phrase that pushes us beyond a simple suggestion! When we come before God, we need to, for our own edification, start with “Our Father.”
This term, Father, is important because it sets the tone for all that comes after. It reminds us of the parental approach God uses with us, His children. It encourages us, as Jesus did elsewhere, to humble ourselves before Him, as a child. The “Our Father” phrase creates the atmosphere of dependence rather than independence. We are not equal or “old buddies” with God. He is our Father. He is to be honored, respected and depended on for our every need. Yes, this is how we should pray, “Our Father.” What a welcoming opening to the intimate relationship we are invited to have with Him!
Father, I’m glad to be your child. I will trust you with my life and my eternity. You are good all the time! In Jesus’ Name, amen.