• Our hope-filled future is bound up in sharing the story of Jesus, in discipling others, in bringing those disciples together into communities of believers, and in developing and releasing those believers to create other communities... till Jesus the King comes again!

Learning what it means to pray to our Father

The Lord’s Prayer begins in such a simple way that many of us can miss the thrust of what Jesus was teaching us by this prayer: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name” (Matthew 6:9).  That small statement: “Our Father”, speaks volumes as to the place where our prayers should begin and end.  The truth expressed in that one statement forms the context of all our prayers and has to be driven home to our hearts each day.our father

Knowing God as my Father means that I understand, I have taken deep into my heart the truth that when God turns His eyes from all His creative activity in the world and he looks at me, He cries out: “Here is one of my beloved children!

Praying the Gospel begins when I choose to rehearse the Gospel to my heart as I begin my prayers.  Praying the Gospel begins when I choose at times not to move further in my prayers until my heart is settled in the assurance that God is my Father, that I am His beloved, and that as I start, continue or end my day, He is faithful and just to forgive me of all my sins and apply the righteousness of Christ to my life again.

I find for myself that I too quickly move away from “praying the Gospel” to all that weighs on my heart that day.  Certainly, I acknowledge God as the centre of my life, but I don’t always allow that truth to become the context in which I share all that is on my heart with my Father.  We encourage one another by praying that the Gospel will go deep in each of our hearts.

Obviously, I have primarily focused on how “praying the Gospel” impacts my own personal life. However, it should impact our community prayer life as well.  What might that look like?


6 Responses

  1. “The truth expressed in that one statement forms the context of all our prayers and has to be driven home to our hearts each day.” I certainly need reminding every day, actually several times a day. The Creator God of the Universe is our personal Father is such a huge reality that my little mind and heart nibble and digest only little bits at a time. God keeps reminding me to keep the emphasis on OUR instead of MY Father. This is the essential foundation for living in community with my wife, children, grandchildren, fellow workers and moves me to pray for our brothers and sisters undergoing horrendous persecution in Syria, Egypt and the Ukraine.

    • I always read it as ‘my’ Father (even though I said, ‘our’). That little change in understanding has started me on a whole new journey of how I experience the Father in community.

  2. I heard one of our French leaders preach on the Lord’s prayer and he opened up a number of these new thoughts to me. Another example of how the community ‘journeys’ together in understanding God’s Word and looking for further ways to implement it in our lives.

    • In our worship this morning, the emphasis in many of the songs we sang was on I, me and my rather than on us, we and our. The emphasis is on individualised Christianity rather than on community. It will take time and concentration to shift my thinking and behaviour towards greater interdependence.

  3. Thanks Albert for sharing! This is something that was discussed a good deal at the Africa Area Conference: the importance, the fruit of interdependence. Our normal tendency in many cultures is to think first of ‘me’, but in many other cultures, the community is the focus. The community is at the centre of Christianity.

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