Our Father In Heaven

5th May

Pray like this: Our Father in Heaven, may Your Name be kept holy..”

Matthew 6:9

Jesus’ model prayer, ‘The Lord’s Prayer’ as it is more commonly known, sets us an important structure for how we should pray. Jesus didn’t intend that we all just become puppets and follow His words exactly every time we pray (although it is good to regularly pray this prayer), but rather it was a model prayer for us to help us know how and what kind of things we should be praying for.

Jesus starts off His prayer, with the following words, “Our Father in Heaven, may Your Name be kept holy..”. Why did Jesus start with these words? Because every prayer we pray should always be centered on who God is. It should start with God, include God’s will and finish with God. ‘Our Father in Heaven’ gives us a clear indication that when we pray, although we are petitioning the Father for our requests, more importantly, we are acknowledging the authority of who we are praying to.

Our Father and our God, of course is the giver of all good things. He wants to shower His blessings upon us His children. Yet we should also remember that He is a Holy God and deserves the respect a Holy God should be given. ‘May Your Name be kept holy’ is a call for us to keep His Name holy by living lifestyles in accordance with His holy standards and always leaning on Jesus’ forgiveness and grace when we stumble. It is also a call for us to intercede for the nations, so that God’s Name may be kept holy throughout the world. Finally it is a commission for us to keep God’s Name holy, not just in the comfort of our own homes but in our workplaces, school and even in our churches.

May we remember that the God we serve is our loving Heavenly Father, the Creator of the world and our Shelter. He is holy and deserves to be treated as a Holy God. Yet His holiness doesn’t mean He is inapproachable. His loving arms are always wide open, beckoning us into His Holy presence, because of Jesus’ sacrifice for us.

The Father Heart Of God

3rd May

The Lord is like a father to his children, tender and compassionate to those who fear Him..”

Psalm 103:13

Quite often it is difficult to imagine God as a ‘Father’, yet it is a term that cannot be escaped when reading the bible. Jesus Himself used the example of God the Father many times. Even when He prayed, He prayed to God the Father. So why does the bible use ‘Father’ so often to describe God?

When we accept Jesus in our hearts and lives, we are adopted into His family. We are born again and no longer live as children of the world but as children of God. God becomes our Perfect Heavenly Father. This personal relationship with God defines who we are and His guidance, tender care and limitless love nurtures us to be become mature in Him and grow in our relationship with Jesus and with others.

Yet just as an earthly father would discipline their children, so it is with God. That is not to say he beats us with a naughty stick when we do wrong but instead, as David says in todays’s verse, corrects us with His tender love and compassionate heart. However, when we do stumble and fall from His best for us, He is always waiting for us with loving open arms.

God the Father wants the best for us according to His will for our lives. We need to respect and obey His guidance, follow His words and honour Him with our lifestyles.

Be encouraged today that God the Father is beckoning you home with arms wide open, unconditional love to give and His tender mercy to greet you.