Monday, September 10, 2018

Praying to Our Father

"This, then, is how you should pray: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name” (Matthew 6:9).

For the next three days, we will delve more deeply into our Lord’s teaching on prayer. We notice Jesus encourages us to approach God boldly as our Father. Yet if we look at the history of the church, we see that prayer has become so formal people have felt estranged from God.

We have seen a strong reaction to this in our day. Now the accent is on breaking down barriers, getting rid of so-called “dead formalities” and so forth. The goal is “real communication with God.” Now the stress is on such things as “conversational prayer.”

Too often we come before God and say something like, “Hi, God. How’s it goin’? Things aren’t going so well with me today, but you and me, Lord, we’re just gonna hack it together. You know how it is, God—you get the message, don’t ya?”

The motivation behind this kind of prayer is that people want to be close to God. But we have to ask if this kind of prayer achieves the goal of getting past dead formalism? Consider this: If God Almighty came into your room right now, would you say, “Hi, God”? I doubt it.

God has indeed invited us to come to Him with all our problems. But when we come to God, we need to remember that it is GOD that we are going to. We are not talking with some buddy. We are called to come boldly, not flippantly. We are not dealing with an equal.

When God comes into the presence of men, they respond in awe. When Jesus appeared to John in Revelation 1, the beloved disciple was so overwhelmed he fell at His feet as if dead. Jesus tells us in the Lord’s Prayer to begin our prayer with adoration: “Hallowed be Your name.” We are to draw into God’s presence cultivating a sense of who He truly is, and in this way, we will both become closer to Him, and at the same time show Him proper respect.

If you pray flippant prayers to God, take some time to consider just who it is you are talking to when you pray. Read Revelation 1 and consider the awe-full person portrayed there. No one was closer to Jesus than John, but John did not treat Jesus in a cavalier manner. Ask God today to give you a greater sense of awe in His presence