Now it came to pass, as He was praying in a certain place, when He ceased, that one of His disciples said to Him, “Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples.” So He said to them, “When you pray, say: Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done On earth as it is in heaven. Give us day by day our daily bread. And forgive us our sins, For we also forgive everyone who is indebted to us. And do not lead us into temptation, But deliver us from the evil one.” (Luke 11:1-4)
God Is Your Father
Prayer is one of the greatest privileges given to men to address their Creator, Provider, and Savior. The magnitude of God’s greatness can only be discovered when it is realized He holds the universe in the palm of His hand, yet He entreats His creation to address Him seeking blessings and favors. Adam and Eve communed with the Almighty in the garden walking in the cool of the day. Men began to call upon the Lord, and God spoke to men like Noah, Abraham, and Moses. Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord and was warned of the impending destruction. Abraham believed in God and was called the friend of God. The Lord would speak to Moses face to face as one speaks to a friend. In the psalms, David expressed his love for his benevolent Shepherd as a God who heard his cries, knew his distress, and delivered him from evil.
Jesus taught His disciples how to pray. John the Baptist taught his disciples the importance of prayer, and Jesus’ followers wanted to know how to pray. The opening line of the prayer of Jesus is a sharing of relationships between the Son of God and His disciples. They both have the same Father. Jesus did not say “His Father” or “Your Father” but “Our Father.” It is incredible to consider the blessing of addressing the Almighty Lord God as “Father.” The kinship of a parental bond is emphasized in the prayer of Jesus. He wants all those who seek His Father to know that He can be their Father.
The prayer of Jesus is about a Father’s love. There must be respect and honor given to who the Father is and His authority. Jesus spent a lot of time in prayer, and His ministry reflected His appeal that all things were for the glory of His Father. The will of God was the will of Jesus. Everything about the ministry of Jesus was directed toward the glory of the Father. Blessings flowed from the divine storehouse of a benevolent Father who provided daily bread. Israel failed to learn the lesson of God’s care as a Father when He fed them with manna and quail and endless supplies of water. The lesson for Israel was not the bread and the meat but that God would provide for their needs. Jesus teaches His disciples to ask the Father for blessings, and God will provide.
God the Father will not only provide for the physical needs but, more importantly, the spiritual requirements of forgiveness. A Father’s love will forgive disobedient children who seek His love. God is a wrathful God, but He is filled with love, mercy, and grace. A father’s love will forgive penitent children. Prayer is the avenue of grace where men can approach the throne of the Lord God and entreat as a child to a father, the grace of forgiveness. As a Father full of mercy, God will forgive.
Temptation is the trial of humanity. God is not unaware of the challenges facing His children. He seeks to protect them and guide them on a better path. Through His compassionate care, the Heavenly Father removes the obstacles of temptation before His children so they will not stumble and fall prey to the wiles of the devil. The hand of a mighty God will deliver His children from the evil one. All of this is promised in the prayer of Jesus to the Father. Sadly, children will often neglect to follow the advice and counsel of the Lord and fall to temptation. As a Father, God will not force His will upon His children. He provides a way of escape on every occasion of sin with the promise He will deliver His children from the power of Satan. Sin occurs when the children of God do not listen to the counsel of their Heavenly Father.
Every child of God must come to know the Lord as their Father. Jesus Christ is the elder brother who also calls upon Him as Father. The parental benevolence of a father’s love is full of compassion, love, mercy, kindness, and forgiveness. God’s desire is for all men to call Him Father and to share in the eternal glory of Heaven. He provided His only begotten Son as an offering for the sins of mankind. The invitation of the Father is to accept His will and find eternal joy. God’s love will only be given to those who call upon Him as Father. The wrath of the Lord comes from the love of a Father who warned His children against disobedience. It pains the heart of the Heavenly Father to punish His children, but He will. Our Father in heaven. What a wonderful thought.