Thursday, November 2, 2017

Conversation With A Pure & Perfect Father

"This, then, is how you should pray: “‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven." Matthew 6:9-10

One of the many blessings of prayer is getting to know God, your Heavenly Father, through intimate conversations with Him!

As you discover Who He is you also gain a clearer view of yourself.

In this Scripture Jesus teaches that prayer is a conversation with a perfect Father.

He also reveals that prayer is a conversation with a PURE and perfect Father.

So, to review: God is a Father Who is:
  • Perfectly approachable
  • Perfectly available
  • Perfectly anxious
  • Perfectly aware
  • Perfectly able
But He Is also perfectly AWESOME!

Jesus' pattern for prayer says, "Hallowed be your Name". God is an approachable Father but He is a HOLY approachable Father.

The word "hallowed" is "hagiazo" in the Greek. That means "holy" The American Heritage Dictionary defines hallowed as, "sanctified; consecrated; highly venerated; sacrosanct," like the hallowed halls of a great university. To hallow is "to make or set apart as holy. To respect or honor greatly; revere." In simpler terms, we often use hallowed to refer to someone whom we should treat with awe and respect because they deserve it. 

Why does the Lord's prayer contain the phrase, "Hallowed be Your name"? The phrase follows the opening of the prayer, which directly addresses God, so we know that the phrase means that God's name should be hallowed. When we review the dictionary definition of hallowed, we can understand why God should be hallowed, but why should His name be hallowed? 

To understand why God's name should be hallowed, we first need to understand that the Jews (God's chosen people) had different naming customs than we do today. To a Jew, a person's name was more than just a way to identify them physically; their name also reflected their nature. Jews named their children in a way that expressed the child's mission in life. Because of this custom, the Jewish people had about 16 different names for God in the Hebrew Old Testament. Each name reflected a different aspect of God's character, so God's names were considered by the Jews to be just as holy as God Himself. In fact, God's names were and are so holy to the Jews, that they never write His full name for fear of bringing disrespect to it and to God. 

In the Lord's prayer, the phrase, "Hallowed be Your name" is appropriate, because not only is God holy, but His name is holy too. We should never treat God's name with disrespect as some do when they curse and use God's name in vain. We should give the same respect and honor to God's name that we give to God because He and His name are one in the same.  

So, like an earthly father God made Himself approachable through Christ Jesus, we are to approach Him through prayer with the great respect and reverence that is due a Holy Father! Just as we should respectfully approach an earthly father - except more!

Have you been in touch with your pure and perfect Father yet this morning?

November 2, 2017

“This, then, is how you should pray: “‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done,  on earth as it is in heaven." Matthew 6:9-10

Over my next three posts I want to identify three helpful insights Jesus shares with His disciples to help them become more effective in their prayers.

Are you interested in developing a more productive prayer life?

Here is the first insight on prayer from Jesus' teaching:

Prayer is a spiritual conversation with a perfect Father.

Prayer is a spiritual conversation.

We often think of prayer not as a conversation but rather as a monologue where we ask and He listens. That is not the image Jesus portrays in this teaching!

During prayer your spirit connects with the Spirit of God in a sweet communion, exchanging emotions, thoughts, desires, hopes and learning to hear His heart.

When prayer becomes a spiritual conversation guess what happens?

God becomes more real! 

Talking to God and especially - listening to Him - makes Him seem more real and personal! 

Talking to God and listening to Him gives you wisdom and direction.

Prayer is a spiritual conversation!

Prayer is a spiritual conversation with a perfect Father.

If you had a source for perfect information and perfect insights wouldn't you take advantage of it?

That is the nature of the God you can enjoy spiritual conversations with!

He is perfect in His character.

He is perfect in His nature.

He is perfect in His wisdom and knowledge.

He is perfect in His ways.

And when you enter into spiritual conversations with Him you can draw from all that perfection!

Prayer is a spiritual conversation with a perfect Father!

One of the things a father delights in the most is having long talks with his children. It is the best way to get to know them and for them to get to know him! It is time well spent!

And one of the things a child treasures the most is conversations with his father.

Conversations between a child and a father forms great memories.

Conversations between a child and a father forges great intimacy.

Jesus counsels His disciples to think of God as a Father and prayer as a conversation with their perfect Father.

How do you think of prayer?

What do you think of when you pray?

What happens when you pray?

If your prayers are not spiritual conversations with a perfect Father you have much to learn and much to gain by learning to pray!