#352 - PRAY TO YOUR FATHER (18/5/21)
On Sunday we continued with our series on discipleship from The Sermon on the Mount. This week we began looking at Jesus’ teaching regarding prayer.
“And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.” (Matthew 6:5-6)
i) Pray to the Father
Prayer is vital, but it can go wrong. There is a danger of praying so as to look like a successful Christian. We can become hypocritical as we put on a good show but our hearts are not truly engaged. Jesus urges us to pray to the Father. We are to be careful to pray with our attention on the Father. Pray to Him because He is actually with you.
ii) Address Him as Father
Throughout this chapter, we see that the truly righteous person relates to God as Father. ‘Father’ (Patér - ‘Abba' in Aramaic) speaks of a tender and dependent relationship. Jesus wants us to address the Father as He Himself did,
“Abba, Father,” he said, “everything is possible for you. Take this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.” (Mark 14:36)
For example, when Paul prays for the Ephesian church, he uses Father,
‘I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers. I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better.’ (Ephesians 1:16-17)
RESPONSE - RECOLLECT
Let’s make a habit of consciously remembering what we are doing when we pray. Lloyd Jones wrote,
‘The one thing that is important when we pray anywhere is that we must realise we are approaching God. That is the one thing that matters. It is simply this question of `recollection', as it is called. If only we would realise that we are approaching God everything else would be all right.’