“He said to them, ‘When you pray, say: Father…’” (Luke 11:2a).
Prayer can also become meaningless if we pray without paying attention to our words. In the Lord’s Prayer in Luke 11:2, we see that first and foremost, Jesus gives us an example of how to pray--not words to be unthinkingly repeated. Now, it is certainly proper to pray the Lord’s Prayer exactly as Christ gave it; however, if we pray it as if the words are magic, or if we offer it without thinking about the content, our prayers do little good.
Jesus says we can begin our prayers with “Father” (Luke 11:2) or “Our Father” as in Matthew 6:9. Regardless of the address we adopt, both ways of coming before the Creator remind us that we have been adopted as His children (Rom. 8:15). If we have faith in Christ, we have been in-grafted into His body and are a part of God’s family. This is a privilege those outside of the church do not share.
Some people reading this study today may have difficulty calling God “Father” because their own earthly fathers were cold, abusive, or neglectful. But the One to whom we pray does not share the imperfections of our earthly fathers, no matter how good or bad they were. Instead, we pray to the Father of Jesus and His people, the One who never mistreats us. Take time today to consider God’s goodness and address Him as your Father.
Passages for Further Study
- Prov. 10:19
- Eccl. 5:7
- Gal. 4:1–7
- Eph. 1:3–6
- 2 Tim. 2:16
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