February 26, 2021 | Matthew 6:9
Dear Redeemer Friends,
“When have you felt most secure or safe in your life?” I was sitting in a counseling session years ago and my counselor posed this question to me. She asked me to think about the details surrounding those scenes. One of the first thoughts that came to my mind was when I would grab my dad’s hand. He was just so much bigger, towering over me, and his hand engulfed mine. His presence communicated that things were safe and everything would be ok.
When we think of our dads some of us will have encouraging thoughts and memories, others have painful ones, others have memories of grief or loss and still others none at all as dads were sadly absent from most of life. Yet, even the best human dad ever, will be limited and struggle. So as Jesus is teaching us to pray using the words, “Our Father” we must stop and pause, and ask some questions. How does my own experience in life affect the way I pray to the Father? Do I come fearfully? Or cautiously? Do I come skeptically? Do I believe He wants to hear me? Do I hesitate to come at all? Do I need to please Him in order to come to Him?
It’s so easy to import our understanding of “father” on earth to “Our Father in heaven”. Yes, this first line of our prayer makes a distinction. This is a different Father- not an earthly father that fails, forgets, leaves, yells, hurts, or distances. This Our father in Heaven- the One who made heaven and earth for us….who sent His son to die for us…who provides, sustains, protects, and draws near. This is our father.
Jesus does not say, “my” father- though he could have since it would have been true. He says, “our”. This Father is to be shared , We are his sons and daughters together. We have a family and we can run to our dad together and on behalf of one another. We are never alone.
Our dad is awesome.“Hallowed be your name” is another fancy way of acknowledging his awesomeness. It may be tempting as we come to prayer to feel like it is about us- our problems- our needs- or sin. Yet Jesus reorients us again. Our coming to the Lord is to bring our Father glory. It’s about how awesome He is. It is right and good and how we were made to acknowledge that amazingness, and to love the reality that our coming to Him, drawing near, brings Him glory.
Let’s draw near to our Father together this Sunday in person, through Youtube, or on the Hawthorne Lawn giving Him such glory as we acknowledge his awesomeness all together.
RPC Director of Care and Connection
9 Pray then like this: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name.