The Lord's Prayer: Our Father in Heaven
As we begin to look at the Lord's Prayer, we are going to pause and take a look at this greeting. How should we approach the throne of God? How should we address our heavenly Father? Let us be conscientious of whom we are approaching in prayer.
Welcome to this series on the Lord's Prayer. We are studying through Matthew 6:9-13 alongside Kathryn Shirey's study guide, Pray Deep: The Lord's Prayer."
This 40-day journal provides you with 5 reflection pages each week to guide you in studying Scripture and truly internalizing each of the Lord's Prayer's petitions as outlined below.
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The Lord's Prayer, Outline:
Introduction and Greeting (“Our Father, who art in heaven”)
Petitions for God:
- God’s glory - praise and adoration for who He is (“Hallowed be thy name”)
- God’s kingdom (“Thy kingdom come”)
- God’s will (“Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven”)
Petitions for Us:
- Our needs (“Give us this day, our daily bread”)
- Our forgiveness (“And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us”)
- Our protection (“And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil”)
Closing and Doxology (“For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever and ever. Amen.”)
Our Father in Heaven
I have to admit I have this bad habit. It makes for really awkward situations. You see, I am very goal-oriented, and sometimes, I can get so focused on my project that I overlook relationship-building in the process.
Thankfully, God has grown me in this area and helped me to value people above all else. However, sometimes I still run the danger of calling up a friend or texting them simply about the information I need or the request that's burning on my heart. With my focus on myself, I forgot to even give them a proper hello.
Because this doesn't come naturally to me, I have trained myself to pause when approaching a friend and first consider who they are, what they're going through, and how I might be able to follow up on a previous conversation, check in with how they're doing, and show that I care for them as a friend, even in my greeting.
When we approach the throne of God, we should give it the same pause. Our greeting, or the opening of our prayer, signifies a few things:
We acknowledge who God is.
We remind ourselves of our relationship with Him.
We establish an attitude of reverence towards Him.
All these will change the way that we pray.
We enter our prayer time with praise and adoration.
Psalm 100:2 encourages us to come before the Lord with a joyful song. We enter His presence with praise and thanksgiving. We do not approach God as the cosmic Santa Claus who is only interested in our good behavior and wish list. Instead, we come with praise and adoration, remembering that we worship an amazing God.
We acknowledge God is our heavenly Father.
God is our caring and loving father in Heaven. He is perfect, wise, and loving - much more so than any earthly father could be. When we come to God in prayer, acknowledging Him as our Father, we recognize that He is the perfect Parent. We need His guidance, love, and direction.
We understand our role as a child of God.
We have been adopted into God's family because of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. As Galatians 4:7 reminds us, we no longer stand before God as a slave, but rather as His child. God, our perfect Father, is waiting for us, His children, to come to Him and talk with Him. What a privilege!
We remember our place in God's family.
We might have come to see prayer as something that is simply between us and God. However, we are a part of a community, a family. Now, all families have their dysfunction because sin is simply a reality in our earthly lives. But at the heart, God wants us to be a unit, to love and care for one another, and to never feel alone.
We remind ourselves that God is bigger than us.
We serve a God who can do all things. Yes, your heavenly Father, who loves you, is all-powerful. You are not just speaking with a friend or venting to a co-worker. You are speaking to the almighty God who actually has the power to help you, who knows what's best for you, and who is sovereign over all.
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You are invited to join the My Scripture Confident Life Facebook community group. We are real Christian women studying the Bible together and encouraging one another to walk with Jesus. We are studying through the Lord's prayer from April 9th, 2018 to June 3rd, 2018.
See you inside the group.