40 Days of Prayer: Friday, March 15
by Brandon Nichols
“Pray then like this: “Our Father in heaven…”
In Matthew 6, Jesus’ disciples come to Him and ask if He will teach them to pray. He teaches them what we now call The Lord’s Prayer. We’ve heard this prayer so many times that it is easy to miss how remarkable and paradigm shifting the prayer actually is. The transformational power of the prayer is packed into the first two words, “Our Father.”
Praying to God the Father seems so common. Why would that phrase be transformational?
In the Scripture God goes by a variety of names and each name tells us about His character and nature. In the Old Testament He is called Elohim, God the Supreme Creator. He is called El Shaddai, the Lord God Almighty, El Elyon, the Most High God, and, El Olam, the Everlasting God. God reveals his own name as Yahweh, the one who was, who is, and who is to come.
What we don’t see in the Old Testament is examples of individuals referring to God as “Father.”
But, when Jesus teaches his disciples this model prayer, he teaches them to pray to God as their father. This is absolutely a transformational shift.
Jesus is teaching his followers that they have a fundamentally different relationship with God, a close, intimate, father to child relationship.
Why does the difference exist? The difference is not that nature of God changed from the Old Testament to the New Testament. The difference is the depths of the goodness of the gospel, that we have been rescued by Jesus and through Him, we have been adopted into the family of God. We can stand before the sovereign, preeminent, most high, majestic, creative, powerful, strong, fearful God of the universe and call him “Father.”
Praying to Our Father is a constant reminder of the good news of Jesus. These first words of the Lord’s Prayer are dripping with grace! We’ve received a privilege of sons and daughters even though we didn’t earn it.
Today as we pray to God the Father, let us be reminded of the amazing grace that we’ve been adopted by God.