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Our Father

Yesterday, I talked to my parents, brother, best friend, and neighbor (who I just met).

I noticed something.

I talked to each one differently. I didn’t change who I was. It was me in every conversation. I just spoke to them according to the relationship that I have with them.

We talk to God the same way.

According to the relationship we have with Him.

Jesus tells us what that relationship should be in the opening line of the prayer He taught us.

Our Father.

If you have trusted Jesus with your eternity, you have been adopted. Adopted by God – the Father – into the family of God.

That means we come to Him, in prayer, as our Father.

I don’t know what your earthly father was like. I don’t know if the concept of God as a Father trips you up because of hurt and anger and disappointment you carry from the man that was supposed to provide for and protect you – and your heart.

I do know that God is everything a father is intended to be. He is just crazy about you. He loves you with an unfailing and unconditional love. He is giddy over time spent listening to His children.

And that is how He invites us to come to Him. As a good Father.

So, what does that mean for prayer?

First, it means that we come respectfully.

As our Father, He has authority over us. He deserves our reverence. Our honor. Our respect.

We come to Him in a spirit of humility – not of entitlement. Our Father is, after all, the God of the universe.

Yet, as a Father, God desires that we would draw close. That we would talk to Him like a child to a loving father.

I saw this modeled by a college student at a retreat I spoke at a couple years ago. She prayed one of the best prayers I’ve ever heard. It wasn’t what she said. It was how she said it.

“Hey God, it’s me, Claire. I’ve got something I want to talk to you about. See, there’s this problem that me and a lot of my friends are facing, and we just really need your help with it.”

It was beautiful. It was reverent and respectful, but she spoke to God like she knew Him. Like she knew He loved her and was delighted to listen.

Because she did.

There were no feigned formalities. She didn’t break into King James English. She didn’t dress up her prayer with fancy words or theological jargon. She was just herself.

This is exactly what it means to come to our Father in prayer.

Yes, we come respectfully. But we also come relationally.

We come as we are to the God who knows us as we are.

The next time you talk to God, talk to Him as you would a good Father.

Linger on that word and let it lead and guide your prayer.

Your Father is waiting with open arms. Climb into His lap and pour your heart out. He is listening with rapt attention to every single word you say.

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