Location: Ireland

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Our Father

I don't think that it's any coincidence that Jesus describes God as 'Our Father'. I've heard it so often at this stage that it really has lost a lot of it's meaning though and this, coupled with my unclear understanding of my relationship with God, has resulted in me now seeking to get back to the root of these words. In Matthew 7:9 "Or what man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone?" Matthew 6:32b "For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things." I don't have to 'trick' God into answering my prayers. He knows what I want, He knows what I need and He knows what is best for me in my growth and development. Instead of me telling Him "This is what I think is best", I should be asking Him "What do you think is best? Please Father, reveal something more of your heavenly wisdom to me that I might grow in my understanding and love of You."
He knows what I want: I don't even have to ask. He knows my innermost thoughts and desires. The ones that I don't even voice. The godly ones and the ungodly ones. The selfish desires and the selfless desires.
He knows what I need: He knows the things that are essential to every part of my growth-the bread and water of body, mind and soul. The exercise of these three. The strenuous work-outs that sometimes need to be undertaken to strengthen them.
So why do I even need to pray? Because He is my Father and if I am to have a relationship with Him, I need to converse with Him.
When we ask for something we want in prayer, it can open our eyes to what we are really asking and our motivations for asking it. In prayer, He helps us to realise if our desires are godly. A really silly example: If a guy desires a keg of Guinness to drink all on his own more than anything and can't see the harm in it, he goes around all day running the idea over in his head, waiting for his father to come home and he has himself convinced that this is a feasible idea. So, he eventually approaches his father and asks him "Dad, will you get me a keg of Guinness?" In that moment when he is asking the question of his father, he may suddenly realise what he is asking for....or it may well be the moment after the question is asked, when his father explains to him why this would be a bad idea. It also helps us to understand where we are in our growth as Christians. Is it really realistic asking our earthly father for a ferrari when we are 5 and can't even handle our bike yet? (This is a bad example because it sounds like I'm saying that all things aren't possible for God...which of course, I'm not saying at all. The thing is, if we did ask for a ferrari and got it, I'm sure our fathers would be sitting there in the passenger seat with the dual control brake depressed as far as it'd go, making sure nobody got hurt. We'd still be driving our ferrari though! And I'm sure the onlookers would be saying "Wow, look! That kid is handling a ferrari." I think I might be pushing this a bit I'll stop.)
When we come to Him in prayer asking for what we need, we are acknowledging that He is the Great Provider, that He has given us all we have and it reminds us of His love for us.

He is Our Father and we are His children. When we spend the whole day smiling and enjoying life, He wants to hear about it. When we spend the whole day feeling absolutely miserable and wondering what's the point of it all, the point is this: Our Father in heaven loves us more than we can ever imagine. He loves us more than anybody on earth has ever loved us. He loves us so much that He sent His son to take away our sins from us and crucify them so that we could be with Him in heaven. He loves us that much. He loves when we strive to relate to Him in all that we do. He loves us more than anybody can express in a painting or a piece of music or a game of sport or a blog...but He takes pleasure in us as we do these things to the glory of His name. We may well be painting a picture for a fee, writing a piece of music for a friend, playing a game of soccer for a team or blogging our hearts out for what seems like no reason but we should remind ourselves constantly that ultimately, we are painting the picture for Him, we are writing the piece of music for Him, we are playing soccer for Him and we are blogging our hearts out for Him. This is what He takes pleasure in. This is why He created us.


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