Vital Signs - Tuesday, February 25, 2020


Worshipping or hallowing the Father’s name is perhaps the most important and enjoyable dimension of prayer. Today we think about the intimacy of addressing God as "Our Father."


Every other line of the Lord’s Prayer is both pre-empted and primed by its eight opening words of adoration: Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name.


When Jesus told his disciples to address God in this way they would have been surprised, to say the least. They knew that their Scriptures occasionally compared Yahweh to a father, but would never before have dared to address him directly, in such familiar terms. Jesus was inviting his disciples to step into a level of intimacy with God that they had never before imagined possible.


I believe that most people’s biggest problem with prayer is God. They envision him scowling, disapproving, disappointed and needing to be persuaded in prayer. If that’s how you picture God, I really don’t blame you for trying to avoid his gaze! But Jesus says something completely different. He makes it clear, in his parable of the Prodigal, that the God to whom we pray is a father who comes running towards us with arms open wide, whenever we approach him, wherever we’ve been and whatever we’ve done. He assures us that Yahweh, the Holy One of Israel, the Creator and sustainer of the universe is (drumroll please) on our side.


The deeper we receive our identity as "dearly loved children", the greater our desire to spend time with our Father in prayer. We will start to tell him everything and dare to ask him anything because we now know that, as Jesus puts it elsewhere, "Your Father in heaven [loves to] give good gifts to those who ask him." God wants to bless you. He is so wants to meet your needs, always pleased to see you and answer the cries of your heart.


Your father never turns his face from you.


# Believeit

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