By Dr. Larry Harper
To what type of God do we pray? Is he one who plays games with us, fooling us with false intentions? Is he the type that will place hidden strings on his answers to manipulate us later? Has he chosen to be so far removed from our everyday lives that he cannot relate to our need? Is he even interested? Does he listen?
In his Sermon on the Mount, Jesus refers to the “Father”, “the Heavenly Father”, or “the Father who is in heaven” no less than fifteen times. He is encouraging His followers to live under the will of the Father gladly and assured they are his children.
He reminds us how nature works, how the birds of the air…do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? (Mt. 6:26,32).
God values us. Jesus teaches us that God is our heavenly Father, a concept that we can count on, and that we are in the order of his love – the fatherhood of God.
Jesus also encourages us with promise that we will receive if we “ask, seek, and knock” (Mt. 7:7-8). This is a familiar phrase but look carefully. This type of praying is more about the pursuit of God than about getting an answer.
In our asking of God, we are pursuing His will, believing this is a means for the child of God to know it. When we pray, we “knock” to be invited in. What has been perceived as being closed to us, we want to experience. When we pray, we have an open path to greater opportunities within the will of God. Therefore, we may approach life with the confidence our loving Father will supply (Matthew 6:31-32).
- Praying is a desire to experience God in ways not yet understood.
- Prayers are to be offered with eyes wide open, so to speak, where we are sensitive enough to recognize and understand when the answer comes.
- Prayer is a life-long response to enjoying the fatherhood of God because we are assured of answers based upon his love.
Give yourself over to praying – pursuing and experiencing the fatherhood of God as you have never known before. This will steady every step of faith’s journey. There will be turns and adjustments all along the way, but a child of God is always heard and assured of an answer from the Father according to his wisdom and love. Father-like giving is the result of child-like living. Therefore, honor the Father with this type of continuing trust, and as you do, you will discover prayer is a life-long enjoyment of the fatherhood of God.