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Friday, August 17, 2018

Matthew 6:9

 
In this manner therefore pray: Our Father in heaven,
Matthew 6:9

The Lord’s Prayer is not a magical prayer, and you do not gain any favor with God by repeating its words. In fact, Jesus warned against using "vain repetitions as the heathen do, who think that they will be heard for their many words" (Matthew 6:7).

No, this prayer is not about repeating words, it is about a relationship wherein we are invited to address the Creator and Lord of the Universe as "Father." This should astound us, that we who are sinners, saved by grace, should be invited to address God by a name that speaks of a precious, close relationship, rather than addressing Him with reference to His sovereignty as King.

Our Father is a king and He does have a kingdom, but Jesus teaches that we can approach Him and address Him as a child would his father. Just as a father loves and has compassion on his children, so our heavenly Father loves and has compassion on us. "He has not dealt with us according to our sins, nor punished us according to our iniquities" (Psalm 103:10).

No father who genuinely loves his children enjoys punishing them. A father delights in providing for his children what they need, and so with our heavenly Father. Unlike an earthly father, however, He knows everything we need before we ask. And what do we really need most? He tells us exactly: we need to hallow His name; we need His kingdom to come. We need His will to be done. We need daily bread and we need forgiveness. We also need to forgive, and we need to be delivered from evil. Yes, these things are what we need most in the world!

Tom Day

 

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