After living for so long in self-dependent spirit, I have found prayer a hard thing for me to become good at. However, who really thinks they are good at prayer? I have never met someone who thinks they prayer enough or perfectly all the time. But I digress. Back to my initial point, prayer has been something I always want/need help and guidance in. One thing that has helped me tremendously in prayer has nothing really to do with me, but how I think of God as I pray. More specifically, one of the most helpful aides to my practice of prayer is to remember that through Jesus Christ, God is my Father who loves me like His own son.
Jesus taught me this when He taught that his people should pray by addressing God as their father. In his model prayer found in Matthew 6, Jesus says we should start off praying to God with these precious two words, “Our Father…” Sometimes the weight of that goes over our head. The God of the universe, the One who crafted all creation out of nothing by the power of His Word, the One who holds all things together by His power, the One who laughs at the nations’ rebellion, this God, wants us to call Him, “Dad.” Out of all the titles that are rightly His (e.g. King of Kings, Ancient of Days, Sovereign Lord, Almighty Maker), He tells us to call Him, “Dad.” Astounding.
I don’t think it is a stretch to say that it would do us well to think deeply about what God’s Fatherhood in Christ means and how that should affect our life; especially our praying. Along that vein of thinking, I offer the words of Charles Spurgeon as he sought to help his people understand what the Fatherhood of God meant for their prayers:
“Lord, hear what I have got to say. You are my Father.”
“Lord, if I call you King you will say, ‘You are a rebellious subject; go away!’
If I call you Judge you will say, ‘Be still or out of your own mouth will I condemn you.’
If I call you Creator you will say to me, ‘It grieves me that I made man upon the earth.’
If I call you my Preserver you will say to me, ‘I have preserved you, but you have rebelled against me.’
But if I call you Father, all my sinfulness does not cancel my claim. If you are my Father, then you love me; if I am your child, then you will consider me, and though my language is poor, you will not despise it.”
If a child were told to speak in the presence of a many people, how very afraid would he be lest he should not use right language. I sometimes feel when I have to address a mighty audience, unless I select choice words…I will always have carping critics to rail at me. But if I had my Father here and if you could all stand as a father to me, I should not be very worried about what language I used.
When I talk to my Father I am not afraid he will misunderstand me; if I put my words a little out of place he understands my meaning somehow. When we are little children we only prattle; still our father understands us. Our children talk a great deal more like Dutchmen than Englishmen when they begin to talk, and strangers come in and my, “Dear me, what is the child talking about?” But we know what it is and though in what they say there may not be an intelligible sound that any one could print, and a reader make it out, we know they have got certain little wants, and having a way of expressing their desires, and we can understand them.
So when we come to God, our prayers are little broken things; we cannot put them together but our Father, he will hear us. (Taken from a marvelous sermon on entitled, The Fatherhood of God).
Do you struggle with prayer? Remember, God is your Father and even though your prayers may be fumbling, stumbling, mumbling, and scattered, He will always understand you and He will always lean in to listen to you intently. Remembering that, through Jesus Christ, God is now your Father and let that guide you on bended knee.
May we always remember that Jesus calls us to child-like faith (Mark 10:15) because we serve a Father-like God.