BIBLE READING: Luke 11:1-12
Thinking of the prayers that I have known and prayed since my youth, I notice that they often start by appealing to “Mighty God,” “Creator of the Universe,” “Immortal, Invisible, God Only Wise,” or “The Lord, the Almighty, King of Creation.” The theology we sing is one that sticks with us, and the theology I sang focused on God’s power, eternalness, and sovereignty. This is good theology, but it is not how Jesus taught us to pray—Jesus taught us to pray to our Father.
This is important because in these prayers we are naming relationships. There is a significant difference in the relationship between a mighty king and his subjects, and between a father and his children. A king’s subjects work for the glory, wealth, and power of the king; many kings have no direct interest in their subjects’ wellbeing. A parent has a relationship that implies an interest. In Luke’s version of the Lord’s Prayer, Jesus expands on the lesson of the prayer by saying: “If your son asks you for a fish, will [you] give him a snake instead? Or if he asks for an egg, will [you] give him a scorpion?” He goes on to say that our heavenly Father is a better father than any of us.
When we pray to our Father, we must remember that we are appealing to a relationship. This prayer is a reminder that while God is the almighty king of creation, this is not the relationship we are appealing to—we are appealing to a parent who wants what is best for us and who will give us good things instead of being cruel, cold, or indifferent.
SONG: Lead Me Gently Home, Father
PRAYER SUGGESTION: Lord’s Prayer
Published in “Fruit of the Vine“