PART 1 of a 3-part series.
When studying the Word on prayer, I discovered something very interesting that Jesus said about prayer. The Word has a lot to say about prayer and Jesus taught and talked about prayer frequently. In Matthew Chapter 6 starting at verse 9, Jesus gives his disciples a pattern for them to follow in order for them to have a successful prayer life. It is often referred to as The Lord's Prayer. But if you look at it closely, you will see that Jesus was giving His disciples a pattern on how to pray effectively. Many in the Church, as well as in the world, quote this pattern for prayer, word for word. By doing so, they miss the principles that Jesus was teaching His disciples to follow. Let's look at it closely to see if we can recognize these principles. Jesus starts by saying, "Our Father". The biggest misunderstanding about this statement "Our Father", is that when quoting this prayer, everyone, saint and sinner alike say "Our Father". The misunderstanding comes from the idea that God being the creator of us all, means He is the Father of us all, is false. Jesus said in John 8:42-44, "If God were your Father", meaning you don't have the same father I have. We know God was Jesus' Father. Then Jesus said in verse 44, "You are of your father the devil". The devil isn't Jesus' Father. So He was saying to those He was talking to, the Pharisees and those in the temple, we do not have the same Father.
In the same manner, God is the creator of us all, but He is not the Father of us all. He is only Father to those, who through Jesus, have made Him the Lord of their lives. He is everyone's God but He is not just God to those who made Jesus Lord of their lives. To them, He is our Father. Once we have that settled, Jesus tells us to begin prayer with praise because God is our Father and we praise Him for who He is and what He has given us through Jesus. He is a good, loving God and we should praise Him because He is so good and loves us so much!
Part 2 of this 3-part series will continue next week.