Our Father in Heaven ...
Our Father in heaven … (Matthew 6:9)
Sometimes, it’s hard to know where to start things in life, especially when the possibilities seem endless. Where do you start when clearing out the garage, for example, or when searching the web, or choosing a special gift? If such ordinary things in life can at times be a challenge, how much more can prayer be! Where on earth do you start? Easy, said Jesus. Start with God! Start with, "Our Father in heaven … "
We need to start with God, not because He is some kind of divine megalomaniac Who constantly needs telling how great He is, nor because He is some sort of divine battery that needs regularly charging up through prayer. Rather, we start with God because it’s when we remember what God is like that everything else starts to take on its proper perspective. Start with yourself, and you’ll get discouraged, for your sin will surely rise up to accuse you. Start with your needs, and you’ll get overwhelmed, for they will seem so great and insoluble. But start with God and your eyes will be lifted as you remember what a very big God you have!
And don’t just start with "God" in a general way, Jesus said. Start by remembering that this God is your Father – nothing like the worst of human fathers and far superior to the best of human fathers. He is a Father in heaven – that is, without any of the limitations or restraints that this world brings. Knowing Him as Father is His greatest desire for us. His longing for His people is summed up in these words: "I thought you would call me ‘Father’ and not turn away from following me" (Jeremiah 3:19).
Without calling on God as Father, prayer will be little more than a religious duty, a calming technique, or an attempt to manipulate God in time of need. But with this, prayer is transformed into an exciting relationship and adventure. God is not "out there" but "down here," as my loving Father. Set your heart on him today, and let everything else be seen in the light of that.
He will call out to me, "You are my Father, my God, the Rock my Savior." (Psalm 89:26)
Copyright © 2017 Martin Manser and Mike Beaumont
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