Faithlife Sermons

Pray to the Father


First, we should pray—as Jesus did—to the heavenly Father.  Jesus prayed very personally, addressing God as His Father, and He taught us to do the same.

This approach to prayer, though, was radical to the Jewish people of our Lord’s day.  If you study the prayers of the Old Testament, you’ll virtually never find people addressing God as their heavenly Father.  He was Sovereign Lord or God or Jehovah/Yahweh or Lord of Hosts.  On those rare times in the Old Testament when God is referred to in fatherhood terms, it’s almost always with respect to His authority or discipline.  The saints and sages of the Old Testament weren’t comfortable calling god their Father: doing so seemed too familiar, presumptuous, and disrespectful.

Then Jesus came, calling God His Father without hesitation or restraint.  In His opening message, the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus referred to God in His role of Father more times than we find in all the Old Testament books combined.  In John’s Gospel alone, Jesus referred to God as His Father 110 times.

What a difference it makes when we pray like this.  Yes, we should approach God with reverence, and it’s good to address Him as our Lord, God, King, and Master.  But Jesus also taught us to pray, “Our Father in heaven.”  In Luke 11:11-13, He told us that if we, being evil, know how to give good things to our children, how much more will our heavenly Father give blessings to those of us who ask Him.

So when you pray, talk to God as personally as if you were talking to a family member whose authority and wisdom you revere.

David Jeremiah, Signs of Life, p. 91

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