What’s in a Word? – Everyday With Jesus Daily devotional written for 6th September 2019.
Hebrews 11:1-6 – ‘anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.’ (v6)
We continue meditating on the second word of the Lord’s Prayer – ‘Father. It is not enough that we address God as ‘Father’, simply saying the word with our lips. If we misunderstand the nature of God’s Fatherhood, it will be very difficult to pray the way Jesus laid down for us.
I have said before that no one can rise higher in their prayer life than their concept of God. If you do not hold in your heart a picture of God as He really is, then your prayers will be short-circuited and like electricity when it has nowhere else to go, will run into the earth.
Also read: God is a Father
What goes on in your thoughts and feelings when the word ‘father’ is mentioned? Some will have positive thoughts and feelings like warmth, love, affection; while others will experience negative feelings such as remoteness, sterness, or even unconcern.
For many people, the word ‘father’ has to be redeemed or rewritten, because it conjures up memories of unhappy or difficult or distant relationships. I believe that this is why Jesus, after laying down the structure of prayer in Luke 11, then went on to teach us, through the parable of the friend who came at midnight, just what God is really like. He is not only a Father, said Jesus, but also a friend.
Also read: A Family within a Family
Jesus, knowing that for some the word ‘father’ would have negative connotations, attempted to fill it with a deeper content, by revealing that God was a Father and a friend. We need to ensure our concept of the word ‘father’ is true and healthy, for if it isn’t, then to approach Him with the confidence of a trusting child will remain a constant struggle.
Dear God, I see that my prayer life rises or falls in relation to my understanding of Your Fatherhood. Give me a vision of Your loving care and concern for me that will enable me to come to You in childlike trust and confidence. Amen.