“So He said to them, ‘When you pray, say, ‘our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your Kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us day by day our daily bread and forgive us our sins. For we also forgive everyone who’s indebted to us. And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one'” (Luke chapter 11:2-4).
This passage ought to be one of the most endearing words of Jesus. It’s so personal, direct, and powerful. It really condenses the core of the Gospel. I remember teaching my children to talk when they were toddlers. The first thing we tend to teach them is our identity as parents. We wait for them to call us as ‘Mama’ or ‘Papa’. That just establishes the relationship we share with them. We eagerly wait and cherish that moment when that happens.
The passage I read reinforces two things. Love God and love your neighbor. God is teaching us to address Him as Father. What an incredible privilege that is for us. We often take this for granted. The close and personal relationship we can share with our Savior. No other religion can boast of this privilege. It just breaks down all the barriers and establishes a very close and powerful relationship. It reveals that God is for us. He’s generous and He’s gracious, and He’s teaching us to pray this prayer every day.
As we grow older, it’s hard for us to live for the day. We prefer the long-term view of things; secure everything for the future. But here, God says to take each day at a time, not just the provision, but our relationship with Him. We need to redefine our relationship with Him every day and receive His grace.
Friends, I just want to encourage you, if you are going through a difficult time or facing fear of an uncertain future, just stop everything and say the prayer. Take your time and say it, “Our Father in heaven.” Relish that relationship. Acknowledge that we need His grace every day. Make an effort to forgive others. Just do it day after day, not as a ritual, but make it relational. Remember, you have access to heaven on earth. Your heavenly Father is just a prayer away.
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