Thoughts 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.

Romans 8:15
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.

God bless

Andrew Greenhalgh and Julie Greenhalgh Upton Life Group leaders Jubilee Church Wirral

Dave Frodsham, Jubilee Church Wirral

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