Tag Archive for God Our Father

The Lord’s Prayer

from the devotional book, PICTURES OF GOD

Read Matthew 6:5-15

Tucked away in the middle of the Sermon on the Mount is the Lord’s Prayer. It has enriched my relationship with God in uncounted ways. But for our purposes here, let’s look at the Lord’s Prayer and focus on just one question: How does having God as our Father change the way we pray?

1.       When you talk to your Father, be simple. Be direct. Be honest. You don’t need to beg Him or badger Him into submission or bury Him in words. He already knows what you need before you ask. Just ask, then trust that He will give you what is best. He is your loving Father. Simple faith requires only simple prayer.

2.       Since your Father is perfect in power, wisdom, and love, what we need is always and only His best. The key to prayer is wanting only what God wants, and that should be the focus of every prayer. Pray for His glory, His kingdom, and His will. That should always be the deep cry of your heart.

3.       As you trust your Father, your usual needs and worries are boiled down into one request: Give us this day our daily bread (Matthew 6:11, NASB). Remember His promise:

“Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things [the necessities of life] will be added to you.” (Matthew 6:33, NASB)

4.       Weak and imperfect creatures like us cannot live in intimate relationship with our holy Father without confession and dependence:

Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
(Matthew 6:12-13, NASB)

Admit your neediness to live as He wants. Without Him, sin is a debt we cannot pay and a trap we cannot avoid. But rely on Him:

God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it. (1 Corinthians 10:13, NASB)

Jesus’ simple prayer models the naturalness of living in the presence of a holy God when He is our loving Father.

Listen and sing:
Hymn: Our Father in Heaven
Printed Music & Lyrics

You Are Our Father

from the devotional book, PICTURES OF GOD

Read Isaiah 63:15 – 64:12

In today’s scripture, God has punished His people for their deep and prolonged sin, and they are crying out to Him. They want Him and need Him to look down on them, remember them, and have mercy on them in their desperate situation. They beg Him to tear open the heavens and come down to them in awesome power, as He did so many times in their past.

In their sinfulness, what is their basis for coming to Him and boldly asking for such help?

You are our Father, though Abraham does not know us
And Israel does not recognize us.
You, O Lord, are our Father. (Isaiah 63:16, NASB)

Even when our earthly fathers fail us and cannot or do not help us, in a truer, deeper sense, God is our Father. We are most truly and fundamentally His children. That thought is expressed again a few verses later:

But now, O Lord, You are our Father,
We are the clay, and You are our potter;
And all of us are the work of Your hand. (Isaiah 64:8, NASB)

As earthly parents, we desperately want the very best for our children. But as they grow older, we increasingly realize that we can’t touch them and shape them in the areas that matter most. They are becoming, or have become, their own persons. Other voices and other examples are now influencing them.

Take comfort in the fact that God was their Father long before we were, and He will still be so when we’re gone. His Spirit is close to them in times and places and ways we can’t be. He will guide and provide for them far beyond our own ability.

Your children are most truly and fundamentally His children. Pray for them as such. Respect them as such – as fellow human beings before our Father. Trust them to Him, and make yourself completely available to Him. Let our Eternal Father be the father to your children, and allow Him to father them through you.

Listen and sing:
Hymn: A Father’s Prayer
Printed Music & Lyrics

Father, Only You

I love You, O Lord. (Psalm 18:1, NASB)

In all my thinking,
all my needing,
all my trying,
all my trusting,
all my dreaming,
all my doing,
all my hurting,
all my hoping,
Father, only You.

Listen and sing:
Hymn: Only You
Printed Music & Lyrics

I Am Your Creation

During some periods in my life, I’ve lived in a vague uneasiness about myself. I’ve felt a restlessness, an unsettledness within that was hard to pin down or identify.

Eventually I realized this stemmed from a clouding of my relationship with God. Though I had not totally rejected Him, I was reluctant to face Him, afraid to stand before Him unhidden. Perhaps I had let Satan steal my confidence through his false accusations. Or perhaps sin had crept in, and I knew deep within that I hadn’t been living as I should. As a result, guilt had separated me from a full, joyful relationship with God. I was hesitant to look into His face.

If you’ve ever experienced these feelings, try something with me. Close your eyes and bow your head, and see yourself standing before Him right now. In your heart look Him straight in the face and say, “God, I am Your creation.”

Go ahead, try it.

Listen. How does your heart respond when you say that?

I have a sense of being a child, standing before my Father, with my arms outstretched, looking up into His face. No matter what my struggles, He understands me. My sins and failures have not dampened His love. I’m enveloped in acceptance, an affection, a belonging that goes deeper than my childish inadequacies.

When our children fail or get in trouble, we don’t want them to hide from us or go to other sources for help. It hurts and frustrates our hearts when they won’t share themselves with us, even when they fall. We long for them to come to us and be assured of our love, understanding, and total support, no matter what they’ve done. Our Father is the same with us. We are His. Though sin brings a cloud and a separation from Him, the separation is on our end, not His. The love and acceptance still exist. He yearns for us to turn to Him again.

As I stand before Him as my Creator, realizing I am His very own, worship becomes a living relationship. At such times, words are unnecessary. Communication lines are open from heart to heart, without the formalities of speech. The love I sense for Him is worship. That trust growing within me is the adoration He desires.

Standing there, I long to live always in His presence, in that unbroken fellowship with Him. Sin appears now as foolish and destructive, soiling that beautiful, living relationship. I want Him to seal all my affections forever as His very own. I want to live fully and freely before Him—naturally, as His love designed.

And in that love, I want to glorify Him in every way I can. Creation so beautifully and lavishly glorifies Him, singing constantly of His power, His wisdom, His love. As His creation, I want to take my place in that symphony.

We are His creation, His children. That warm, open relationship is what He wants most for us, and with us. He only asks that we trust Him—trust Him enough to come to Him immediately and repent when we have sinned; trust Him enough to bring Him our needs and concerns; trust Him enough to obey His words of love.

He is a wonderful Father!

O Lord, you are our Father.
We are the clay, you are the potter;
we are all the work of your hand. (Isaiah 64:8, NIV)

Listen and sing:
Hymn: I Quiet Myself in Your Love
Printed Music & Lyrics

I Am His Child

Just as a father has compassion on his children,
So the Lord has compassion on those who fear Him.
For He Himself knows our frame;
He is mindful that we are but dust.
(Psalm 103:13-14, NASB)

God loves us as a parent loves a newborn child.
An infant doesn’t have to earn the parents’ affection.
A baby is loved because of relationship, not because of merit.

Read the beautiful picture painted in Psalm 103.
The Father understands us far better than we understand ourselves.
He never expects us to live like something we’re not.
We don’t need to pretend with Him.

Instead, He takes the initiative to transform us
into more than we can be on our own.
He wants to make us truly His children.
He wants to make us like our Father in every way.

All He asks is that we respond to Him in trust, step-by-step.

Listen and sing:
Hymn: We Are Children
Printed Music & Lyrics

Living in the Father’s Presence

This is the first of an eleven-part series on the Beatitudes.
Each part features a hymn to a familiar tune. 

We are needy creatures living in a material world. We need food, shelter, and clothing. To meet these needs, we work, we worry, we gather and grasp. And if we get more than we need for today, we hungrily store it away for the future.

By nature, we are self-centered, driven by desires of which we are only vaguely aware. We long to wrap ourselves in pleasure and security and the admiration of others. We crave glory and gold.

And so it goes. We live, we long, we scramble, and we die, with our hearts entwined with the physical world around us.

But our Creator made us for better things. He made us to be like Himself, to share the endless abundance of all He is. He designed us for love…for eternity. But when we turned away from Him so long ago, we lost sight of our birthright and our destiny. We degenerated into the fearful, selfish creatures that we are.

But our Creator didn’t abandon us. He sent His own divine Son as a human being like us, to show us Who He is and who we can be. He came to renew us in the full image of our holy and loving Creator. He came to teach us that this Creator is our Father, and that He longs to be our Father in a deeper and more personal sense. He wants us to realize that He is always with us. His loving eye focuses always on us. He wraps our entire existence in Himself.

Jesus Christ came to teach us and show us what it means to live in the presence of this Father who is all-powerful, all-knowing, and all-loving. He is already aware of our every need. And this Father requires of us only one thing: that we trust Him.

As we trust Him and live before Him, the logic of daily living is turned upside-down. With such a Father, trusting makes sense, not worry. Giving is logical, not grasping.  A close relationship with this Father is our highest good, our greatest security, and our deepest pleasure.

 Listen…and sing if you want:
Hymn: We Are Children
Printed Music & Lyrics