Isn’t it interesting that the disciples never asked Jesus: Teach us how to preach like you do. Nor did they request: Teach us how to perform miracles like you do. Instead, they said: “Lord, teach us how to pray”. It’s as if they had begun to realise that what mattered was not what you said or did, but rather the quality of relationship you enjoyed with the Living God. What we know as the “Lord’s Prayer” is really the Disciples’ Prayer – it provides a model or scaffold for our daily prayers. Throughout the centuries Christians were discipled in The Lord’s Prayer, The Ten Commandments and The Apostles Creed. In forthcoming devotions we'll be working through each of these.
The Disciples’ Prayer contains five Ps: Person, Programme, Provision, Pardon and Protection.
“Our Father who is in heaven, hallowed be your name”.
When we pray, we are coming to the One who is simultaneously Father and God. He is a God of Love and a God of Majesty. There are many earthly fathers (we all had one!) but even the greatest and best of fathers are but a dim reflection of the Heavenly Father. You’ll, no doubt, have heard previously that it was a shocking and unprecedented thing for anyone to call upon God in these most intimate of terms as Abba Father.
There are times when we need to be reminded and convinced of the Father heart of God. But there are other times when we need to exhorted to realise the full implications of his hallowed name. It is set apart in transcendence and infinitude from every other name. As one commentator puts it, this is a declaration: “God, be GOD to me”. There are many names that we look up to, there are many things that we trust and hope for in this world. But this prayer starts with the recognition that above and beyond all things there is only One whom we should depend upon for all our needs and desire above all other things. Him alone should we fear and trust. It starts by recalibrating our minds, hearts and souls to the one who is omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, omnibenevolent, sovereign - everything we are not! And yet He is available to us in prayer and committed to us in covenant!
At this time of crisis, as we are feeling the strain of stress, loneliness, anxiety, fear, conflict, we have to remember that the One we are talking to in prayer is not just a friend or counsellor or boss or genie – He is GOD. Today, in your prayers, declare “God, be GOD to me”