Our Father is a prayer that almost every catholic knows how to pray. In every prayer of the church, there must be a time to say “our father”. This is not just a prayer but a way Jesus teaches us how to pray.
In Matthew chapter 6, Jesus teaches His apostles the need not to advertise their piety or prayerful life to attract unnecessary attention or to babble as the Pharisees do.
He then says “you should pray like this”. Then comes Our father. Jesus’ first statement means a lot if we can fully understand that.
To teach His apostles how to pray, Jesus begins with the phrase “Our father”. This has a lot of messages to communicate with us.
We have to know This.
One important message we have to know is that in every prayer we say, God is wholly involved. Hence, prayer is the communication between us and God. The use of the word “our” denotes possession. It is a word someone uses to indicate what belongs to him/her.
This means that the prayer we say is also a recognition of what God means to us. We pray to God not necessarily because of what we are to gain or lose, but we pray to God as His children.
“Father” here indicates that we come from Him. Using our earthly fathers as an analogy, we share the same bloodline with them and proceeds from them. To call God our Father is an affirmation that He is ours. We share in His image and likeness.
Jesus’ use of “Our Father” means that there must truly be a close relationship between us and God. This relationship should be a relationship between Father and Son, or Father and daughter. When we understand this, we will not even find it difficult to communicate with God day and night.
If God is the Father.
1. If God is then our father as we pray, we have to be sure that He sees us as such. No father can abandon His child. We have to be continually certain that we are protected in His hands. This reveals the importance of faith. Faith is like an oil when we pray.
This is because God does not fail in His promises. His promises for His children will always come to pass (Joshua 21:45). If God cannot fail, then why do we fail as if the reason we only go to God is because of the gain only?
“Our Father” indicates that our relationship with God should not be conditioned by “if He works or not works”. The truth is that God allows things to happen to show His power and how He so much loves us. But we easily lose hope even before He could.
2. If God is our Father, we have to go in the presence of the Father always, persistently and every time.
We should not treat prayers as if it is a burden. There should be this inner joy to approach the divine throne of the Father. Have you seen that we neglect God so much because we hardly have a single time for Him?
3. If God is our Father, and we know He is, we should treat Him with respect. So, we do not go in His presence to be busy on social media. Hence, we do not go to church only to make noise from the beginning to the end.
Do we go in His presence because others are going, or do we go because we truly believe that we are in the presence of the Father? Therefore, If God is the Father, our prayers to Him must be done respectfully and with humility. We should not rush the prayers.
4. To see God as a loving father is already an indication that He sees you as a loving Child. Hence we have to be assured of His love despite how hard life seems to be. Our attitude should be that “Hardship will not tell me how to worship my God’. But today, we allow difficulties to dictate how our relationship with God will be.
5. If God is truly a loving Father to us, then we have to go to God with this full assurance that He will answer our prayers. Therefore, we do not have to go in the presence of God with an already defeated or negative mind. Hence, we do not see God as one who is deaf and heart hardened.
Some people will say; let me try God. Does it mean He is only an option in your life? As a father, we are supposed to let Him know everything that happens to us from the beginning. So, we should not treat God as an option, but as a Father He is.
May God bless you and give us the grace to understand how close He is to us. May He never allow you to stumble. Amen.