Last week I concluded by saying I was going to ask God to put His loving arms around everyone I met that day. Frankly, I found that more difficult than it sounds. It took me the whole week to get into that groove. But I also found this to be a greater blessing on my prayers than I had suspected.
(The Foundations of Prayer 1)
This week I am beginning a series on the biblical foundations of prayer. We will start with The Lord's Prayer in Matthew 6. Its first words are, "Our Father."
Coming to God as our father is essential to Christian prayer. There are people who come to God as if He were their employer. They seek God to give them what they have earned by their sincerity or their righteousness. "I've been good or I will be good, so reward me, God." But coming to God as our father means we trust His fatherly love.
Coming to God as our father assums a special relationship. No one can approach the President or Prime Minister or a King in the middle of the night for as small a thing as a drink of water, but his child. Again and again Jesus urged us to bring audacious requests to God. As His children we can ask Him for anything. And of course that means we trust Him not to give us that which would harm us. Have you ever thanked God that He did not answer your prayers exactly like you prayed. I have.
As children we know we don't understand everything our parents know. We may resent or resist that fact, but we know it is true. Coming to God as our father is to rest in His understanding above our own. And yet we know He who is all powerful loves us with an infinite and everlasting love.
If I am taking The Lord's Prayer word for word, I skipped the word, "our." Next week I will deal with that little word. I am to pray not only to my father, but to our father.