Home > Lord's Prayer > Approaching God

Approaching God


Approaching God

***

An elderly gentleman passed his granddaughter’s room one night and overheard her repeating the alphabet in an oddly reverent way. What on earth are you up to?” he asked.
“I’m saying my prayers,” explained the little girl.
“But I can’t think of exactly the right words tonight, so I’m just saying all the letters. God will put them together for me, because He knows what I’m thinking.”

***

Who is God?  Jesus, when was talking to the disciples…and curious onlookers…He started right off with our approach.  Let’s define the word approach.  The dictionary says this, “…to come near or nearer to.”  That makes sense.  Jesus starts this section of His Sermon on the Mount with the assumption that the listeners already pray to God…want to get closer to Him…believe in Him.  He starts with, “And when you pray…” (Matthew 6).  Do you think it’s safe to say that Jesus instinctively knows that we want to get close or near to God?  I think so.  So he starts this model prayer with that in mind…our approach.

This, then, is how you should pray:
‘Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name…’

I divide chapter 6 verse 9 into 3 parts.  First things first.  He invites us to call His father by the same way He does.  Simply “Father.”  This is personal.  We know from Scripture that Jesus really is from Mary and God the Father, but He says we can call His own Father the same way.  I think this fact is easily glossed over.   Many of us have memorized this verse to the point that we don’t think about it.  We talk about the trilogy without thinking what the phrase “God the Father” really means.  We hear or say, “…in the name of the Father…the Son…and the Holy Spirit” during baptisms and don’t think twice that we’re actually saying that word…Father.  He is our Dad.  Jesus could easily say something different.  But He invites us to be his brother and sister when He invites us to call God our dad as well.

Second.  God is as close as a prayer…but for now, its not as close as He would like it to be.  It’s not “Our Father on Earth”…it is “in Heaven.”  There is a separation.  The separation had a cause.  The cause was and is sin.  Our Father is in a perfect place.  We are not.  God has a home that Jesus has already talked about throughout this message beginning in chapter 5.  From here on till His death and Resurrection, Jesus’ followers will hear so much more about Heaven.  It’s where our Dad is, and it’s where He wants us to be someday.  Ironically, the One speaking these words will become the way for us to get to the place where the phrase “Our Father in Heaven…” will change to “Our Father before us.”

Third.  God is our Father, but He is holy and His deserves to be feared.  Now, many of you will look at the word ‘fear’ and hear something that I’m not sure is Biblical.  Jesus does not want us to cower before our Father.  Jesus wants us to respect who He is.  In the Old Testament, God tells Moses His name.  It is simply ‘I Am.’  The Hebrews thought this name so Holy they didn’t even speak it.  They had seen God’s punishments against Pharaoh.  They had seen His fire and smoke on the mountain.  They daily saw the tower of fire and smoke when they camped around the tabernacle.  They knew…felt…and visibly saw the separation.  They knew God was holy and deserved respect.  Our approach to God, our Father, should be humble…knowing that we are creation and not creator, that we are sinful and He is perfect, that He is powerful and we are weak, and that He is judge and we need pardoned.  His name deserves honor, praise, dignity and respect.

Think about it.  Jesus, who was previously with the Father before His birth on this planet, is telling us the best and most wise and perfect way to come before God.  We should take note.  This approach that Christ gives us it not just in ‘form,’ it is for us to understand in our heart and mind.  Jesus wants us to know who God the Father really is.  This prayer defines God, us, and our basic need.

 

Questions for Growth:

  • How do you approach your Creator?  Humbly?  Sporadically?  Like Santa Clause?  Like one who holds your future?
  • After possibly seeing this verse in a new or expanded way, how do you plan to approach God?  Me…personally…I’m going to start with this model.  I can add to it, but if this is how Jesus said to do it, I think I’m starting with His plan.
  • Are there times when you pray that you feel closer to God?  What are you doing then that helps you?  What is your heart’s stance?
  • How will you approach the One you’re praying to next?
  • When will you start a different approach if you feel it’s necessary?  Tonight?

 

Love, Serve, Spread the Word,

edbarnes

Advertisements
  1. No comments yet.
  1. No trackbacks yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: