Thursday, September 21, 2017

From Strength to Strength...Our Father Part One


“And it came to pass, that as He was praying in a certain place, when He ceased, one of His disciples said unto Him, Lord teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples.”  Luke 11:1
Dear Friends,

If you’re anything like me, you’ve known the Lord’s prayer from childhood.  It is perhaps the best known prayer among Christians, as it is simple and comforting.  In fact it is so familiar, there may even be times when you find yourself saying those beautiful words almost “casually” … only half thinking of what they mean.  

Again, I’m speaking from personal experience.  However, there was a point in my life when I came face to face with the deep theology and power in those words spoken by Jesus on the Mount of Beatitudes.  In the next few blogs I would like to just stay with those words and allow you time to soak in their depth.   Are you ready?  Let us begin.

Jesus said: When ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do; for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.   Be not therefore like unto them; for your Father knoweth what ye have need of, before ye ask Him.  After this manner therefore, pray ye:  Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be Thy Name.”  Matthew 6:7-9

Our Father which art in heaven… 
I’m writing this in September of 2017 and so far this month there have been four major hurricanes,… three of which have wreaked havoc upon the United States of America.  Because of our advanced technology we have been able to sit in our comfortable homes and watch satellite images of a whirlwind so large that it encompassed the entire state of Florida in its approach.  We cried and prayed for all those in its path as we watched in disbelief.  Yet, this whirlwind does not even come close to displaying the magnificent, powerful transcendency of God in heaven…who is also our Father.   The word Jesus used was Abba,… our Daddy.  

Hallowed be thy name…
We speak this next phrase in our western culture, not realizing the privilege of approaching Him as Daddy.  The Hebrews of Jesus’ day (and throughout the Old Testament) were in such awe and fear of our transcendent Creator, that they never, NEVER spoke His Name.  They referred to YHWH as Ha Shem,  “the Name.” Yet amazingly, with these words Jesus opened for us the portal of relationship without lessening the holiness of His Father’s Name.   
Dear Friends, as you meditate on these two verses in the days ahead, please pause also to embrace another time when God Himself used the word hallowed: 
“For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day. Wherefore, the Lord blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.”  Exodus 20:11
Be blessed, ​

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