When Jesus was teaching His disciples how to pray, He told them to begin with “Our Father”, and then He followed by teaching them all the different elements of what we call “The Lord’s Prayer”. As this is the first thing that Jesus taught us to pray, it must be important.
Every person who believes in Jesus Christ and receives Him as personal Saviour, has the right to become a child of God (John 1:12). It is at that moment that our adoption, which was planned by God before He even made the world, takes place. God then becomes our Father. We no longer need to be afraid of drawing near to Him, as we can approach His throne with confidence (Hebrews 4:16). We are family! What an amazing privilege to be able to have intimacy with Almighty God! He is King of kings, but He is also our Father. It is from this place of intimacy that all our prayers should come, with the expectation that He hears us and will answer us when we pray according to His will.
As a parent, I used to love giving things to my children (and I still do!). Jesus says in Matthew 7:11: “If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!” It is with this assurance that we can come to our Heavenly Father with our requests.
It is interesting that Jesus did not tell us to pray: “My Father …”, but rather “Our Father”. I wonder if this is because, having been adopted by God and come into relationship with Him as Father, He wants us to be aware that we are part of His wider family, with responsibility to love and support our brothers and sisters. He doesn’t want us to be isolated or independent as Christians, but rather to be aware that we are part of His Body. Our attitudes towards one another are important to Him.
As a mother, I used to hate it if our children were ever fighting or arguing with each other. Now that they are adult, it gives me great joy to see them getting on well, appreciating and supporting one another. I believe that God feels the same about His children. He wants us to be living in love and unity with one another. We are told in Psalm 133 that it is where brothers are dwelling together in unity that He commands His blessing. Perhaps it is in order to remind us of the importance of keeping our relationships right with one another, as well as with our Heavenly Father, that Jesus taught us to pray: “Our Father …”
Prayer: Our Father in heaven, thank You so much that this is how I can address You. Thank You for the privilege of being part of Your family. Please forgive me for the times when I have not been in love and unity with my brothers and sisters in Your family. Please help me to put this right. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
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