BlogsThoughts and insights from Jubilee Church Wirral
Come to your father
By Dave Frodsham, lead elder, Jubilee Church Wirral
One of the first words children say is “Dadda”.
It is very easy to say. In Jesus’ time the children would have said “Abba” but but they would not have dared use such an intimate word for God.
However, as we look at the Lord’s prayer, we see that we should come to God as “Our Father”, not “Our King” or “Our Lord” even though He is those things. We should not see Him as our boss, or know we are accepted because we have performed well.
We can cry “Abba Father” because God has made us his children.
For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!”
The Jewish leaders wanted Jesus dead because he broke the Sabbath by healing the lame man by the pool and secondly by calling God his Father. (See John 5:18)
When the disciples saw the relationship Jesus had with the Father they wanted to learn how to pray and in Luke 11:1-4 Jesus gives them the model of the Lord’s prayer. We find a longer version in the Sermon on the Mount and some more teaching on how to pray.
Matthew 6:9–15 (ESV)
Pray then like this:
v9 “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name.
v10 Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
v11 Give us this day our daily bread,
v12 and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.
v13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
v14 For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you,
v15 but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
The Lord’s prayer is a model of how to pray not what to say.
They key thing about how Jesus taught about prayer is that prayer comes from an intimate relationship. We come to “Our Father, Our Daddy”. If we come to God with anything other than wanting to give our devotion to Him there is the danger that we don’t receive the result we want. We should be coming to develop our relationship, not to present a list of requests or demands.
Jesus gives some guidance on how not to pray at the start of Matthew 6.
Only praying in certain places.
Street corners or the synagogue; only in the church on a Sunday or at a prayer meeting; even quietly
Praying just to be seen by men.
Again this might be at church meetings. Are your prayers directed at those in the room or to God? Spouting off what you know.
Praying long prayers full of empty words (nothing behind them) – no meaning
Jesus teaches that true prayer is offered to God and secondly, He concludes that God knows what you need before you ask! His desire is to answer our prayers.
William Barclay, who wrote daily study Bible notes for each of the New Testament books, says: “Remember the God to whom we pray is more ready to answer than we are to pray.”
Here is another way of using the Lord’s prayer:
Adoration: Who is God? Our Father, living in heaven, Holy is His name, He is King and His will is done and He provides!
Accept that God knows best – “Your will be done”
Asking God for our daily provision once we have worshipped Him and agreed to accept his way and asked for forgiveness.
Adherence: He calls us to adhere to the truth and to stick closely to God’s way – resisting temptation and asking Him to protect us from bad stuff.
So, today, make time to pray. Spend time telling your heavenly Father, your “Abba”, what He means to you and asking for the Holy Spirit to help you grow deeper in your relationship with Him.
Dave Frodsham, Jubilee Church Wirral
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Helen on the importance of Friends and what God has to say about them in the Bible.
Andrew on evangelism, how we are all evangelists whether we like it or not, and how to evangelise easily.
Dawne on the parable of the lost sheep and the lessons we can take from it as followers of Jesus and members of His flock.
Yvonne on loss and how God has helped her deal with the loss of her mum and the impending departure of her eldest son to his first job
Nicki on serving at Newday and the impact it has had on all three Frodsham children and many, many others
Simon on the frustrations of not being able to get to sleep properly, and the Bible verses that help him stand firm against sleeplessness.
Gerry on how easy it is to be drawn into gossip. “If you can’t say anything positive, don’t say anything at all” isn’t just good advice, it’s Biblical wisdom.
Sylvia on being an encourager: “God knows our troubles. When we open up to Him, He’ll use other people to encourage us through His word.”
Lynne on doing what God wants us to do even when we really don’t want to do it – and why it’s important
Chris on the power of our words and how having a relationship with Jesus can give us the power of the right word at the right time.
Helen on why Psalms have taken the place of Proverbs as her favourite book of the Bible
Andrew Greenhalgh on being much better at giving advice than at taking it – and what happens as a result.
Chantal Robertson on how God and the gospel of Christ has never changed over time – even though the way we package it has.
Nicki on how she was planning to work in the marketing and advertising industry until God led her in a different direction.
Dawne challenges us to look at life with the enthusiasm, joy and exuberance of her Macedonian dog Floki and find joy in the everyday.
Jen on how taking the Alpha Course because she had nothing better to do on a Tuesday afternoon led to a life-changing wheelchair for her daughter Daisy and many others.
Gerry on how her ideas of what love truly is have changed over the years, and how love can be so much more than a feeling.
Matt Wilson on how God is weaving a tapestry – and knows what that looks like. He can see the big picture. Our part is to trust him with the threads he has given us.
Denise Griffiths on resolutions and why she has resolved not to make the usual New Year’s resolutions such as giving up chocolate, eating healthier or doing more exercise!
Vernon on the transience of life, and how, through all suffering, God’s steadfast love has the capacity to satisfy us every morning.
Andrew Greenhalgh on how he ended up going to church on Christmas morning for the first time at the age of 11 – and what it has taught him.
Helen on how preparations for Christmas vary from family to family and country to country. And what happened to Helen’s Lindt advent chocolates?