Pray to the Father

January 6, 2022

by Erin Bird

Welcome to Day 6 of our 21 Days of Prayer and Fasting to start the New Year. If you've already missed a day or two (or three!), don't worry about it. Simply open your devotional booklet to Day 6 and do that page today. (If you don't have a devotional booklet, it's not too late to pick one up at the building today, tomorrow, or Sunday.) And if you've already given in to temptation from that which you are fasting, today is a new day, so begin the fast again.

Last week, we began a new series here in the weekly email that is running parallel to our 21 Days. This past Sunday, I taught from Matthew 6:5-15, which contains the Lord's Prayer. But here in the email, we are walking through the Lord's Prayer as found in the book of Luke. Last week, we looked at verse 1, which brings us to verse 2 for this post.

Here is verse 2 of Luke 11, as found in the English Standard Version translation:

And he said to them, “When you pray, say:
'Father, hallowed be your name.
Your kingdom come.'"
(Luke 11:2, ESV)

Last week, we saw that the reason Jesus taught what has been nicknamed "The Lord's Prayer" is because His disciples asked, "Teach us to pray."  And as He begins teaching, Jesus says, "Alright, when you pray, here is what you should say:"

#1: To the Father

First, notice who the prayer is directed toward - God the Father. Jesus doesn't teach them to pray to angels, or saints, or ancient prophets, or any other mediator. First Timothy 2:5 tells us there is only one mediator between God and humans - Jesus. And here is Jesus the Mediator giving permission to all of His followers to talk directly to the Father.

This is incredible! The Creator of the Universe invites us to come directly to Him in prayer. He isn't like some mythological god who rages in anger in the heavens or makes unmeetable demands. He is a personal, caring, approachable God who loves us like a daddy loves his newborn.

However, just because we are given the opportunity to approach the throne of God with confidence doesn't mean we treat the Father flippantly. This is why Jesus next teaches us to pray...

Pray To The Father

#2: With Respect

The Father is far more loving and approachable than you may realize, but He is also far more holy than you can comprehend. In fact, He is SO holy, even His name is holy. Not just His being, or presence, or character. His very NAME is holy!

So come to Him in prayer - He wants you there! Just come with respect and awe and humbleness, because even His name is hallowed.

#3: With Surrender

As we saw this past Sunday, the underlying current to the Lord's Prayer is trust. Jesus next teaches us to pray to the Father and humbly ask with a trustful heart for God to bring His Upside-Down Kingdom into our lives. This means surrendering to the King and submitting ourselves to His will and desire.

So let me encourage you to take 30-seconds right now and apply what Jesus teaches by praying something like this:

Heavenly Father,

Thank you that you have created a way through Jesus for me to approach you. You are so holy, so amazing, and so unlike me, yet you seem to delight in opening your arms and letting me come to you in prayer. Please help me to trust you, to let you do in me and through me what you will, that your kingdom would rule and reign in my heart, my thoughts, and my entire life.

In Jesus' name, I pray,
Amen.

Erin Bird Lead Pastor - Riverwood Church

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