Scripture: Luke 11:2; Matthew 6:9
Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be Thy name.
At six years old my father was sentenced to over ten years in prison. Although I was young, I will never forget a few significant memories that are forever etched in my mind. I remember the day my grandfather pulled up to our house in Kansas City, it was raining lightly with heavy overcast. I watched him tell my mother as she broke down in tears. I didn’t know what had just happened, but I could feel that something was wrong. I also remember a few moments alone with my father before he began to serve his sentence and him telling me that I had to be the man of the house and take care of my mother and sister. The final experience I’ll share is when it was time for the verdict, and my grandmother took me out the courtroom, but I snook away and looked through the small windowpane of that large heavy door, and as the guilty verdict came in, something forever changed in me.
I bring up these painful experiences, in the context of the internal work that I had to go through during my journey, to get to a place of trusting God my Heavenly Father. Since I was a kid, I’ve had this unusual burden I placed on myself to go above and beyond expectation, seek the affirmation and validation of others, and to take care of everyone I could. For most of my life I operated from the premise that it was all about me and my performance. This caused me to have a real challenge trusting my Heavenly Father in every area of my life. I trusted God for most things, but honestly not everything.
This revelation came through tear stained eyes, a bowed head, and a broken spirit of self-reliance. I had to learn the hard way that it was all about my Heavenly Father which art in Heaven—not me. I was reluctant to broadcast this experience, but again through tears and the pain of disappointment, God began to show me that people needed to hear at least two things. No matter our experience with our earthly father’s presence or absence, God was being unfairly grouped in with earthly father’s when it comes to our perspective on our Heavenly Father. Secondly, we too often are relying on ourselves and not fully embracing what it means to have a Heavenly Father with unlimited love, unlimited resources, and a Heavenly Father who through the Holy Spirit is ever present with us every second of our lives. I began to more fully understand what it meant when the saints use to use to say growing up in church, “He walks with me, He talks with me, and He tells me that I am His own.”
The Model Prayer opens with Adoration and Worship that is designed to connect the child of God with God our Heavenly Father in new ways.
In the Hebrew context, the name is not just merely what a person is called, but it is literally the full character and essence of a person. So, when Jesus teaches us to pray, “Our Father which art in Heaven”, don’t rush past the profundity of this statement. Jesus was radically rejected for this truth that God was not some remote and distant deity unconcerned and uninvolved in the everyday affairs of our lives, but indeed He was our loving Father who loved us so much that He gave His only begotten Son’s life for our life, that we might live in the fullness of His power and presence. I began to think about how much my early father loves me and all that he has done for me across the years with limited time and resources, and the physical limitations of his ability to be present with me at all times. It was like a beautiful bright sunrise after a long dark night that began to light up my world, prayer, and worship. I pray the same for you! That you will receive and believe how much our Heavenly Father loves us in spite of what it may look like or feel like. Our Heavenly Father is the God of Heaven who is sovereign, reins, and rules the universe and He loves us more than we’ll ever know or understand. That is what was Jesus was teaching, that God is not just the God of Heaven, but our loving Heavenly Father. Thank You Father!
CPR Kit for the Soul:
- Centering Theme: “Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons [and daughters] of God” (1 John 3:1)
- Prayer Topic: Pray that God will begin to reveal the full measure of the love of our Heavenly Father in new ways, and the more His love is unveiled, the more we will pray, worship, and love Him.
- Reflection Thought: Have I overemphasized self-reliance, rather than total and complete reliance on God for everything in my life?
T3 Prayer Booster:
- Dear Lord, please grant me peace that comes from accepting that You are not to be judged by any human experience, but simply by Your Word and the fact that Jesus tells us of the altered nature of our relationship with You, through Him.
- Lord, open the portals of my mind and soul to see clearly how much you love me, care for me, and want me to know in the fullness of a Father and child relationship.
- Father God break my spirit of self-reliance and allow it to be supernaturally transformed into a spirit of total reliance on You for every area of my life, withholding nothing, that You may be my everything.