More thoughts from The Lord’s Prayer, Matthew 6:9-13.
Jesus tells the disciples to address God in this way: “Our Father who is in heaven. The three key words are “our,” “Father” and “heaven.” In my last “thoughts,” we talked about the word “our.” Today, we will consider the word Father.
One day in Nairobi, Kenya I was talking with a young man who was a shopkeeper. I wanted to know his concept of Father. I asked, “What does the word “Father” mean to you?” He replied, “My father takes care of me and disciplines me.” These concepts are nearly universal. In a broad sense, God takes care of everyone and disciplines or judges them. Mt. 5:45 says, “He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.”
However, a redeemed family relationship is reserved for those who believe in Christ. All those who believe in Christ become members of the redeemed family of God. It is through Christ that God provides “all spiritual blessings” (Eph. 1:3). Moreover, it is by means of the Spirit (Rom. 8:15) that we cry “Abba! Father!” We relate to God as Father through the indwelling Spirit.
When we pray, let us come to God as Father. When we do this, we come with great confidence. We know that He will provide for us, guide us, and discipline us. And He will take joy in what He can do through us.
More Thoughts from Matthew 6:9-13.
We are studying The Lord’s Prayer. In my previous “thoughts” we talked about the words “our” and “Father.” Tomorrow, we will study the word “heaven.” Today, we will digress slightly from the text and discuss a related matter.
Jesus said to address God as “Our heavenly Father who is in heaven.” Given this, can we address our prayers to Jesus and the Holy Spirit? It is important to realize that Jesus did not give us a form that always has to be followed in every detail. He just gave us a general pattern with important elements. We often hear prayers addressed to Jesus, and this is entirely in order.
We do not hear as many prayers addressed to the Holy Spirit. However, praying to the Holy Spirit is also entirely in order. The Holy Spirit is the third person of the Trinity. He is God. Sometimes, we pray to the Holy Spirit in song. No doubt all of us have been blessed by singing the chorus below. I pray, today, that the Holy Spirit will come into our lives in a special way. Please feel free to respond with your testimony about His presence!
Come, Holy Spirit, I need you
Come, sweet Spirit, I pray
Come in your strength and your power
Come in your own gentle way
George M. Flattery, Ph.D., is the founder of Global University and Network211