“Our Father who art in Heaven…” Let’s start this Ash Wednesday on a prayer journey.
We call it “the Lord’s prayer.” But actually, it is our prayer, taught to us by Jesus. It is a beautiful template to guide our conversation with the almighty, eternal God. Jesus begins the prayer with a radical call: “Our Father.” This is startling for two reasons. First, he says “our” including each of us in an invitation to address God as kindred. Further, we are invited to call God “Father.”
This was a startling invitation. The Jews would not even utter God’s name. And here Jesus is inviting us to a level of intimacy we can hardly fathom. In Gethsemane Jesus goes even further calling out to God as “Abba” – the word the little Hebrew children used for “Daddy.”
But prayer to God as “Father” is not always easy, especially if we had a difficult time relating to our earthly fathers. Awkward as it is, we are beckoned with this command. And in fact only in this relationship can we find healing from our hurts and disappointments from our own fathers. In God we find a father who is what a father is suppose to be. God the father is:
- The source of our life (John 3:3)
- Supplier of all we need (Matthew 6:31-33)
- The one who rightly disciplines us (Hebrews 12:5-11)
- The one who grants us an inheritance (Romans 8:15-17)
- The one who gives us abounding affection (I John 3:1, Luke 15:20-24)
Some things to do:
We being our prayer journey by addressing God, the maker of all, as Father. Through this week take time to speak out loud to him as “Father.” As you drive to work or wash the dishes or lie down to sleep whisper the word “Father.” And as the week moves on grow more bold in this. Try speaking to him as Jesus did. Say “Daddy…” How does it seem?
Some things to talk about:
Why is it challenging for us to think of and speak of God as our “Daddy”?
What can we do to “spur each other on” to experience this reality more deeply?
Our Father, teach us to be comfortable with the truth of Your intimate love for us, to embrace You as Daddy. To receive our identity from You and You alone. And out of that intimacy and identity, to live the life Your Son died to give us, with His joy embedded deep within us.