Guest Post – Our Father in Heaven

lordprayer

-Matthew 6:9-13 (NIV) 

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This passage starts with what is commonly known as the Lord’s Prayer. It is an excellent prayer model. Yes, it is also an excellent prayer, worthy to recite as Jesus rendered it. However, this passage is also a model to follow. It is a blueprint to prayer and is something we can pattern our prayer life after.

Since this is a prayer model, we should strive to understand as much about each word and each phrase that we can. If we want to translate this prayer into our daily lives, then we must reach a deepened understanding of what is being communicated.

Our

This word shows the collectivity of a group. It lets us know that Jesus was not condemning corporate prayer earlier in his teaching (see Matt. 6:5-6). However, this also shows that God is my God, and my brother’s God, and Billy Graham’s God and the apostle Paul’s God. While we may think God may hear someone else’s prayers better than our own, we all have equal access to our God.

Father

As twenty-first century Christians, we readily understand the Fatherhood of our God. However, this was a head turner when Jesus taught his disciples. Jewish culture customarily prayed to The Lord God instead of Father God.

The King of the Universe, who was to be approached in formality, now became the Father, a personal God within each individual’s grasp. God wanted to have intimacy with each disciple, and wants to have intimacy with each of us. We all have equal personal access to our relational God.

In Heaven

This phrase sparked something in the minds of the disciples that we may miss as modern day Christians. We have briefly discussed cross-references and their importance in Jewish teaching. The disciples may have heard this verse enter their minds upon hearing the phrase, “in heaven”:

Not to us, O LORD, not to us but to your name be the glory, because of your love and faithfulness. Why do the nations say, “Where is their God?” Our God is in heaven; he does whatever pleases him. – Psalm 115:1-3 (NIV)

Pagans would attempt to invoke certain actions from their gods by observing various rituals and praying specific prayers. This is why Jesus was teaching his disciples to choose their words in prayer. In addition, he was also teaching that the Father intimately knows each and everyone’s needs even before they ask; unlike the pagan gods (see Matt. 6:7-8).

The Lord God cannot be influenced as the pagan gods. He chooses what He wants, and acts when He desires to act. This unlimited power contained in the God of Israel is not reserved for humans to manipulate.

In conclusion, Jesus invited the disciples to a personal relationship with the unlimited power of the universe found in The Lord God of Israel. We should know we all have equal personal access to the all-powerful God.

In our prayers, we are to remember that God desires a close relationship with us. We are also to remember that he is going to do what He sees fit. Therefore, if our prayers are not answered in the way we would like, we should rest knowing that God is in control.

How do you follow the Lord’s prayer as a prayer model? Share with us!

This post was part of a complete series of posts teaching parts of The Lord’s Prayer. You can find the other posts below:

  1. Hallowed Be Your Name
  2. Your Kingdom Come. Your Will Be Done.
  3. Give Us Our Daily Bread. Forgive Us Our Sins.
  4. Lead Us Not Into Temptation. Deliver Us From Evil.

bradandresBrad Andres is a licensed minister. He is the author of The Scripture Reader’s Manifesto and a regular contributor to Prayers-For-Special-Help.com. His passion is to help people understand the Bible and maximize their God given potential for life. To hear more of Brad’s thoughts, check out his website at BradAndres.com, find him on Facebook, follow him on Twitter, or circle him on Google+.

 

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