We all think we know how but we don’t. And practice doesn’t make perfect if you’re practicing the wrong thing, it only makes permanent.
I’ve spent a couple of decades working with my father, and lived in his home for a couple of decades before that. I know him. In the whole world I would say I only come in second to understanding how he thinks to my mom.
Mom gave me some advice one day. She said “You need to learn your dad. When you come and spontaneously ask questions that you need answers to RIGHT NOW (kinda my thing…) while he’s in the middle of a project, you shut him down. Try this: “Dad, when you have a sec I have a question about _____?” and see if you don’t get a better quality of his time.”
Mom was right.
Prayer is talking with God and most of us think we are experts. I’m sure Jesus had a laugh when He was addressing a similar crowd in His day and told them all “You’re doing it wrong!”
(“How DARE you tell me I’m not praying right!!!” Canadian outrage at its best…)
But who would know the Father better than the Son? Jesus is challenging us in Matthew 6 and telling us that the topic of most of our prayers is trying to get the Father to understand US, when the reality is…. He already does. Perfectly.
The real issue is we haven’t learned Him and how He thinks. This would explain why so many prayers don’t get answered, if I’m allowed to suggest that?
Jesus says “Pray LIKE this… OUR Father…” then proceeds to give us a blueprint of how our Father in heaven actually thinks. This is quite layered and I only have enough of your attention span to give you a few things here and would suggest the video pod below for a more comprehensive and specific understanding.
1. Our FATHER.
This prayer is not for everyone, it is for sons and daughters of God. He is the creator of us all but when we were born we had another spiritual father, the devil. The struggle in this lifetime is the challenge to trade the worst father for the best. Is God your Father? In a moment you can change your allegiance and be adopted into the family by the sacrifice of Jesus.
2. OUR Father.
There are 8 plurals in here and not a single “me, mine, I, or my”. You want to know how God really thinks and how to get through to Him? For Him it is all about His family. Your life is not about you, but you’re also not alone. It is not a good thing if you have enough and your brother is hungry. It is not admirable if you’ve beaten a temptation and won’t help your sister beat hers. You can’t be a taker in this family for long…
I think I will leave you with the simple version today and ask:
Do you have a relationship with the Father? and
Have you found your place in the family?
Natural pushback? “I think God is ok with how I pray and what I think about these things…”
That depends on if the god you pray to is GOD or if it’s you…