Session #045 That’s My Dad!
Scripture Matthew 6:9
Summary When we bring our petitions through prayer, do we truly know who we are talking to and how we are to approach God? From the opening line of the pattern of prayer that Jesus taught in Matt 6:9, Henson shares about the Bigness, Closeness and Awesomeness of God. This teaching will encourage you to rediscover your relationship with Abba Father as you approach Him with reverent awe!
In this manner, therefore, pray:
Our Father in heaven.
Hallowed be Your Name.
Your Kingdom come Your Will be done.
On earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive our debts, As we forgive our debtors.
And do not lead us into temptation, But deliver us from the evil one
For Yours is the Kingdom, and the Power and the Glory forever.
Amen. Matthew 6:9-13
Traditionally, this is referred to as the Lord’s Prayer. But I like to see it as the Disciples’ Prayer. More specifically, a Kingdom Prayer. Sadly, over the centuries, this prayer has become a ritualistic prayer. So much so that those who pray it, do so religiously without understanding. Still, others have decided to do away with it in the name of flowing freely in the Spirit. When we bring our petitions through prayer, do we truly know who we are talking to and how we are to approach God?
Who Am I Talking To?
Since prayer is a Petition, it is very important we know Who we are approaching and how we are to approach Him. When you pray, do you know who you are approaching? Do we know that He Is Truly God, or do we merely come to Him like a genie in a bottle to grant us our wishes and desires? Hence the importance of the very first line of this model prayer:
“Our Father in heaven, hallowed by Your Name …” (Matthew 6:9).
In Heaven: The Bigness of God
“In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth,” “Heaven is My throne, and earth is My footstool.” (Genesis 1:1, Isaiah 66:1)
It is God who stretched out the heavens like a curtain (Psalm 104:2, Isaiah 40:22).
We are on earth in a solar system called the Milky Way which has 200 billion to 400billion stars. God counts the stars and calls them by name (Psalm 147:4). The Milky Way is about 1,000,000,000,000,000,000 km in diameter, and it is only one of the billions of galaxies in the universe.
Can you imagine How Big is Our God? He is a big God and has a big, powerful and glorious kingdom (Matthew 6:13). This prayer starts with the Bigness of God and ends with the Bigness OF His kingdom.
Forever: It is the Everlasting Kingdom
This truth has been repeated in many different verses, and these are some of them, Psalm 145:13, Daniel 4:3, 2 Peter 1:10–11, and Isaiah 9:7. The beauty is that we get to be a part of it. Many think God is too big and busy to bother about them, but this is not true.
Our Father: The Closeness of God
“Father” is a term of Intimate Relationship. ABBA is Aramaic for “Daddy” who the Jews call God. We too have received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry, “Abba, Father.” (Romans 8:15; Galatians 4:6). I am a child of God. That’s my Dad.
He may be the Creator of the Universe, but He is still Dad to me. God my Father is interested in me; and how amazing that such a big God takes an interest in me (Psalm 8:4).
My Father loves me. He would exhort, encourage and comfort us (1Thessalonians 2:11). God instructs and teaches us, watching and guiding us in the way we should go (Psalm 32:8). In Hebrews 12:5–7, God disciplines us as well.
In the Parable of the Prodigal Son, Luke 15:11-32, the Father looks out for us, yearns for our return, runs to hug us. He desires for us to enjoy Him and all He has for us. He is not a slavedriver as the older brother thought. We work for the Father because of a love relationship with the Father and in that we please Him.
My Father has great plans for me, and each of you. My Father knows what is best for me and what He created me for as He sees the big picture. God wants me to grow up in His image and after His likeness; and we have Jesus as our Big Brother whom we can model after (Hebrews 1:3). If we have seen Him, we have seen the Father. God wants me to be about “my Father’s business” (Luke 2:49) through my kingdom assignments.
To those who struggle with their father on earth, and thus struggle with God as Father in heaven, God promises to be a Father to the fatherless (Psalm 68:5). God promises to set the solitary into families (Psalm 68:6). If God is our Father, then we are to be the family that many have never experienced.
Ephesians 3:14–21 is a corporate prayer by Paul, expressing that both Jews and Gentiles, are one new man in Christ. We are to be spiritual fathers and mothers to others, spiritual big brothers and big sisters, representing our Father in heaven.
Praise God for the recovery and restoration of fathers in the Body of Christ. Firstly, knowing God as our loving, heavenly Father, and also turning the hearts of fathers to sons, and sons to fathers (Malachi 4:5-6).
Hallowed be Your Name: The Awesomeness of God
God is Holy. hagiazo is the Greek word for holy, pure, sanctified, set apart. God is one-of-a-kind and there is no one like Him. I may be made in His image, I may be given power and authority, but I am still not God. Only He is God.
God’s Holiness is not to be confused with His love. Consistently, the heavenly hosts declare this one aspect of God (Isaiah 6:3, Revelations 4:8). We must be careful not to over-romanticise the love of God. If God is holy, then His love is also holy love – pure, sanctified, set apart.
God is Awesome, yare (Psalm 111:9-10). God is to be revered, to be honoured, to be feared which is the reverent awe that He deserves.
The Right Perspective of Father God is that He is Dad, but He is Almighty God too. I can jump into His arms anytime, but I do not get all pal-ly that I lose respect for Him. He is God.
Be careful of over-correction. Embrace the tension. Fathers, being more hands-on these days and more post-modern, can become too soft and emotional, lacking discipline, without parameters. Similarly, an over softening of God as Father can lead to a soft generation of entitlement Christianity. God is still God. He has not changed. He is holy and awesome, to be revered and feared (healthily). Remember, familiarity breeds contempt.
On Earth as it is in Heaven
We are to be so proud of our Heavenly Father that we want to make His name great and known “on earth as it is in heaven”. God is known in the heavens – no doubt about that (Psalm 89:5-6). His sons are to declare Him to all the earth (John 1:18). We carry God’s name, and we are to live in accordance to His name, character and nature (Habakkuk 2:14).
Prayer is talking with (not just to) God, but our Heavenly Father. Jesus has already made the way for you to get into the presence of God, our Heavenly Father (Hebrews 4:16). He desires a father-child relationship with you.
Be convinced that you are talking to the Boss. Our God is a big God, and He is in charge. It is His kingdom that will last forever. All power and glory belong to Him, and He can make things happen.
Come with reverence and honour for His Name. Coming boldly to the throne does not mean approaching God with arrogance or presumption (Psalm 19:13, Deuteronomy 17:12-13 ).
Be careful of the “no need repentance” and “God loves you so very very much” teaching. We petition on His terms, not ours. We are not spoilt brats asking for our way. We are matured sons and daughters asking for His way. His kingdom come, His will be done.
Determine to make His Name great on earth. The very first desire in our hearts must be that our Father’s Name is revered and honoured by everyone. All other requests and petitions are aligned with the exaltation of God and His Kingdom purposes.
It All Begins With A Right Relationship … With Dad
It begins with your relationship with Dad, with Abba Father. Get this alignment right, and everything will flow beautifully, including your kingdom assignment. It also begins with a right relationship with your earthly father – is there a need for forgiveness?