The necessity in all true prayer (Knowing the Father)
“Our Father in heaven” (Matthew 6:9)
• To know God as Father
The common conviction in the world, is that God is the Father of all people. They call it the eternal fatherhood of God and the universal brotherhood of man. It is true in one sense that God is the Father of all because He is our Creator. But when Jesus taught this prayer to His disciples he was not thinking of unbelievers. The most important aspect of the Lord’s prayer is to know God is your Father. Everything hinges on this truth. God is not the Father of all men. Jesus said to the Pharisees, that the devil is their father. The Bible makes it clear in the book of John. “For as many as received Him (Christ) He has given the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His Name” (John 1:12)
Let’s make this clear, unless you have received Jesus Christ as your Savior and Lord, as God, for who He is, God is not your Father. In fact the Lord’s prayer in the gospel of Matthew is not for you, if you have not bowed down to Jesus and worshipped Him. Unless you believe that Jesus Christ died for your sins, paid for them with his own blood, and rose from the dead, God is not your Father. This is the most important point in the prayer, that you can say, “my Father” and “our Father”. If Jesus is your Savior and Lord, God is your Father and only then.
God is a Father. You may have a skewed view of fathers. Maybe your father was not a good one. Maybe he was abusive or absent most of the time. Maybe you had a good father who cared for you. And if you had a father like that it will be helpful to understand God as our Father. What we have to keep in mind now is this. God as Father cares for you as a believer. He is concerned about your well-being, your needs, and he wants to protect, provide and lead you.That is what it means to have God as Father. It is wonderful to know God is our Father. I don’t think anything can be more comforting. To know that the Creator of all things, the Omnipotent One wants to care for me and protect me!
• To know God as Our Father
When we pray to God as our Father we have to realize that God is not only my father, but He is Our Father. We are not alone. We as Christians are part of a family. A huge family. God doesn’t only care for you and your family, but for all his children across the world. We are part of a community of believers. As believers in Christ we have all been adopted into God’s family by faith in Christ. When we pray we should never pray just for ourselves. When Jesus taught his disciples to pray, “Our Father” he reminded us of the fact that we are part of a community, a global family. I remember when Roxanne and I lost our baby boy Thomas, how the church supported us in our lost and prayed for us and visited us. That is what the church is supposed to do in difficult times. Jesus, reminded us, when we pray, don’t only think of yourself, remember that you have thousands and thousands of brothers and sisters who care for you, and who have the same glorious Father.
• To know God is a different kind of Father
And then thirdly, when we pray remember that God is a very different kind of a Father. He is our Father in heaven. He is wiser, and much more intelligent and powerful and righteous and holy that any father on earth. He is perfect is all his ways and in all He is. He loves us immensely, but He is to be feared with reverential awe. He is to be worshipped and admired. We should have the utmost respect for Him at all times. He is our Creator, our Protector, our Life and Salvation. Before this Father we must bow down and worship. He is holy, He is without any defect and sin. He is flawless, pure and excellent. So when we pray our words must be few as Jesus told us, we should be still and know that He is God, we should not come before Him and dictate to Him what to do. Arrogance is out of place in the presence of the King. Self-confidence and self-importance is out of place. When we come to Him we must be silent and listen and worship. We must remember He is the sovereign Ruler in times of crisis. No event or crisis the world may be facing and no crisis in our personal lives are out of God’s control. God has purposes during every time of crisis. And we should acknowledge that. He is our Father and He is in heaven. He has purposes to be accomplished during this time.