Dear Tom & Michelle & Tommy J.,
9After this manner ought you to pray:
Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.
10Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
11Give us this day our daily bread.
12And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
13And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.
Yesterday we ended by asking how it is possible that God would hear our prayers. Another way we might ask this is how is it that God can be addressed as “Our Father.”
Tommy J., most people consider it automatic that God should hear prayers but they forget that God being Holy and pure He cannot remain Holy and pure and be in a relationship with those who are not Holy and pure. So, again we ask, “how is it that God can be addressed as “Our Father.(?)”
The answer to that Tommy J., reveals how loving God is. God can be called “Our Father” because God Himself takes the initiative to take away our sin by providing someone who served as a substitute for us. We couldn’t come to God with our sin and call Him “Our Father,” so God provided Jesus Christ as the one who, by His death, would bear the sins of those, and serve as the substitute for those who trust in Christ. The Bible says,
“Jesus, who knew no sin God made to be sin on our behalf; that we might become the righteousness of God in him.(II Cor. 5:21)”
Tommy J., it is because of the death of Jesus Christ for sinners like you and me that His people can call God “Our Father.”
This means Tommy J., that those who don’t trust in Christ as the one who is their substitute, cannot call God their “Father.” This is why the Bible says that “no one can come to the Father except through Jesus (John 14:6).”
So, Tommy J., we can call God “Our Father” when we pray because God provided Jesus Christ as a substitute to take away the sins of those whom God loves.
Tomorrow Tommy J., we will begin to look at how the Lord’s prayer continues to teach the followers of Jesus how to pray.
Since we are learning how to pray, let us end with a prayer,
“Our Father we thank you for being Our Father and for loving us so much that you sent Jesus to make known to us your love for us as a Father. Father, we thank you that gave Jesus to us as our substitute and that you hear our prayers because of the death of Jesus on the Cross as our substitute. We thank you that we can call you ‘Our Father.’ In Jesus Name We Pray …. AMEN”