Good morning, Dad

There are hundreds of ‘prayer’ rituals in various cultures and religions.  Some years ago, at the station where I frequently purchased my gasoline, I often heard a CD playing a man’s voice repeating lines over and over.  Though in a language foreign to my ear, I could pick out the repeated syllables. One morning I asked the attendant about it. He said that it was his ‘morning prayers.’  At the Western Wall in Jerusalem I saw Jewish men standing facing the wall, murmuring and rocking back and forth. Many slipped little pieces of paper bearing their petitions into the cracks between the stones. Tibetan Buddhists spin prayer wheels, cylinders on which prayers are printed, believing that the act of spinning the wheels is the same as saying the prayers. Many Christians adopt rote prayers which they recite at various times.

The heart of prayer is not just a ritual involving words.
We are, through Jesus Christ, invited to converse with our Father!

Jesus reminds Christians that God cares nothing for the quantity of our words. He desires to know our heart when we come before Him. “When you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, (those who do not know God) for they think they will be heard because of their many words.” (Matthew 6:6-7, NIV) 

Over and over Jesus focuses our thoughts on our ‘Father,’ so that we will pray to a loving Person, not a frightening impersonal Power.  Paul teaches us that we are talking with someone who is our “Abba” (Daddy) when we pray.

Let me ask you simply- would you talk with your Dad in the same way that you pray?
Are your prayers humble and focused on the Father’s love?
Is it your desire that He answer in a way that is best in His will?

When He was giving final instructions to the men to whom He was handing His work, Jesus was clear about the importance of their prayers. “The truth is, you can go directly to the Father and ask him, and he will grant your request because you use my name. You haven’t done this before. Ask, using my name, and you will receive, and you will have abundant joy. “I have spoken of these matters in parables, but the time will come when this will not be necessary, and I will tell you plainly all about the Father. Then you will ask in my name. I’m not saying I will ask the Father on your behalf, for the Father himself loves you dearly because you love me and believe that I came from God.” (John 16:23-27, NLT)

When we have received Christ as our Savior, we have complete access to the Father. So many Christians tend to pray only to Jesus, and that is just fine, however we need not avoid engaging with “Our Father in Heaven.”   Prayer includes conversing with and listening to the Father! Jesus is interceding for us all of the time. What joy.  But He also tells us that we should “Go to your Father for yourself, approaching Him confidently.”

We don’t have to spin a prayer wheel, play CD’s that repeat prayer phrases, or go to some revered place to murmur certain words. Prayer is, for the Christian, an open heart before the One who loves us; sharing life with Him. And we do this with confidence because Jesus invites us to come ‘in His Name.’  That means more than just saying “In Jesus’ Name” at the end of a prayer. We are made part of the family of God because we are saved, forgiven, and reconciled to our Father through the Cross of Christ.

Our praying is heard because He has brought us home to the Father’s house. Yes, friend, our Father is looking for hearts that hunger for Him, for people who love Him, for those who bring their petitions with faith to receive. Jesus tore away the ritualism that blocks fervent, effective prayer. Don’t fall into that trap again, thinking that God can be impressed with your religiosity. Instead, as He taught, just ‘ask, seek, and knock.‘ 

If you’re sad, cry with your Abba.
If you’re afraid, tell Him.
Share your joy.
If you need to shout, do it.
If you want to whisper, that’s fine with Him, too.
Just don’t ignore Him!

No Father likes to be forgotten until a crisis arises or a storm blows in. Offer Him your worship often. Seek His Presence every day. And, you will learn to pray in a way that honors His great Name.

Here is a word from the Word. Meditate on it, letting the truth become a foundation of your prayers. “For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God. So you should not be like cowering, fearful slaves. You should behave instead like God’s very own children, adopted into his family—calling him “Father, dear Father.” For his Holy Spirit speaks to us deep in our hearts and tells us that we are God’s children.” (Romans 8:14-16, NLT)

Good, Good Father
(a prayer song!)

I’ve heard a thousand stories
Of what they think You’re like
But I’ve heard the tender whisper
Of love in the dead of night
You tell me that You’re pleased
And that I’m never alone

You’re a Good Good Father
It’s who You are, It’s who You are
It’s who You are
And I’m loved by You
It’s who I am, It’s who I am
It’s who I am

I’ve seen many searching for answers
Far and wide
But I know we’re all searching for answers
Only You provide
Because You know just what we need
Before we say a word

You are perfect in all of Your ways
You are perfect in all of Your ways
You are perfect in all of Your ways to us

Love so undeniable I can hardly speak
Peace so unexplainable I can hardly think
As You call me deeper still
As You call me deeper still
As You call me deeper still
Into love love love

Anthony Brown | Pat Barrett © 2014 Capitol CMG Paragon (Admin. by Capitol CMG Publishing) Common Hymnal Publishing (Admin. by Capitol CMG Publishing) Housefires Sounds (Admin. by Capitol CMG Publishing)

CCLI License # 810055

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