[CF Devotionals] 2007-08-03 - The Prayers of Christ

Part 4 ~ The Lord's Prayer

This week, we will begin looking specifically at what has become known as "The Lord's Prayer."

Matthew 6 (NASB) :

9 "Pray, then, in this way:
'Our Father who is in Heaven,
Hallowed be Your name.
10 'Your kingdom come
Your will be done,
On earth as it is in heaven.
11 'Give us this day our daily bread.
12 'And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.
13 'And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil.

"Our Father who is in Heaven...."

Someone has said that when we pray this phrase, we are often subconsciously thinking, "Our Heavenly version of my Earthly Father." The good news is that kind of thought process personalizes the prayer. The downside is that of course, that it limits our concept of God - for no Earthly human being can ever measure up.

Some of us grew up in healthy, loving families, and had strong relationships with our biological or adopted parents, while some of us were born to or adopted (or fostered) by abusive, immature, selfish - and somtimes simply unenlightened parents. Generally our parents are no better or worse than their own family. Some simply were not taught how to be effective or loving parents.

Let me preface this by saying that by no means am I minimizing the damage that can be left in the wake inept or cruel parenting. But it can be overcome with God's help, and no matter what our Earthly Father was like, every single one of us can have a relationship with a Father who is loving, all-knowing, all-powerful - and truly desires what is best for us.

Imagine. Some Earthly parents do their very best, but are misguided, i.e. parents who think it is loving to cover for their children's mistakes, never hold them accountable, or give them everything they want. But we have a Heavenly Parent who not only truly has our best interests at heart, but has the wisdom to know what truly is "best" for us, and the power to help us pursue it.

Take advantage of the fact that you have access to a relationship with a perfect Father. Pray to Him in your own words, exactly what you are thinking and feeling (He knows anyway - but like an Earthly parent - wants to hear it from us). Studiously read His love letter to you every day (The Bible). Worship, serve and fellowship with your brothers and sisters (at a local church). He will take us just as we are (if we are repentant), and make us what He wants us to be.

Comments or Questions?
Jan

[email jan] cfdevpray@juno.com
http://www.cfdevotionals.org