A Lenten Conversation with God

prayer-man-1

Our Father who is in heaven,
Hallowed be Your name.
Your kingdom come.
Your will be done,
On earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And do not lead us into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
[For Yours is the kingdom
and the power and the glory forever.
Amen.]
Matthew 6:9-13

lentToday is Ask Wednesday and I am beginning a six-week exploration of the meaning of what has come to be known as “The Lord’s Prayer.” Jesus suggested these words to His disciple when they asked Him how they should pray. However, Jesus did not expect His words to be repeated by rote. His intention was to give His disciples an example of how to communicate with God. In its simplest form, prayer is a conversation with God where we talk to God and then listen for His response. In her book Seven Prayers that Will Change Your Life Forever, Stormie Omartan  says, “Prayer is not just asking for things. More importantly, prayer is talking with God. It’s getting close to and spending time with the One you love. It’s seeking Him first, touching Him, getting to know Him better, being with Him, and waiting in His presence. It’s acknowledging Him as the source of power upon whom you can depend. It is partnering with Him. It is aligning your spirit with His to see that His perfect will is done. It is establishing ourselves and our lives as being connected to God without reducing prayer to a formula,” With the help of the Lord’s Prayer recorded in scripture, I desire to enrich my prayer life to be all that Stormie Omartan describes. I am on an adventure with the words of Jesus as my guide during this Lenten season.

My Reader, throughout the coming weeks, I hope you will join me digging deeply into the meaning of the various phrases of this prayer recorded in Matthew 6:9-13 and Luke 11:1-4. Primarily, I will be using the words from the gospel of Matthew. Let’s begin today with the first phrase.

Our Father who is in heaven
Matthew 6:9

For me, this phrase is a personal recognition of the One to whom I am talking or praying. I am not addressing a group of people, but I am acknowledging that I desire a one on One conversation with God. Now, I want to take time to highlight some specific words.

Our Father who is in heaven
Jesus does not limit God to being only His father, but refers to Him as our father. When I pray, I can have a personal conversation with my father, but I also need to remember that He has many other children as well. He is “our” father, not just “my” father! I am a member of the family of God! I have many brothers and sisters in Christ with whom I will spend eternity.

Our Father who is in heaven
Father is defined as the male parent of a family. We all need a father! Father is the more formal title used for someone in this position. Dad was always my choice of terms for my biological father. Dada is usually one of the first words a young child will say. Gradually, the child will learn to say Daddy. Abba is the intimate name that Jesus used for Daddy. The description of God as a father originated with Jesus.

Our Father who is in heaven
These words stress that “our father” is not an earthly biological father but rather a heavenly spiritual father. Because of the shortcomings of some biological fathers, it is hard for some people to comprehend God as a loving father. However, each of us as a child of God can fully trust and love and talk with our Heavenly Father. My Reader, take time this week to talk to “Our Father who is in heaven” about whatever is on your mind. He is interested in everything that concerns you.

In conclusion, I want to quote a couple of scriptures that validate the fact that God is our heavenly father and we are His children.

See what great love the Father has lavished on us,
that we should be called children of God!

I John 3:1

Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,
before you were born I set you apart.
Jeremiah 1:5

For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.

Psalm 139:13

Joyfully,
Cheryl
gold apple new

 

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