“After Jesus said this, he looked toward heaven and prayed:
‘Father, the hour has come.
Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you.'”
John 17:1 (NIV)
Jesus practiced what He preached. He taught us to address God as Father (Matthew 6:9) when we begin to pray, and He does the same.
When we come near to God in prayer we ought, as believers, to recognize our great privilege to call God “Father”.
At one time our sins hid the Father’s face from us as recorded in Isaiah 59:2 (NIV)
“But your iniquities have separated you from your God;
your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear.”
Through repentance and faith in the Lord Jesus we are now able to come close to God and we dare to call Him “Father”.
Let us think about this happy state of affairs for a moment. God is our loving Father. Many of us had loving fathers as we grew up and can easily think of what a normal father child relationship is like. For those who did not have a father—or who had a dreadful father child relationship in the formative years—we can still get the idea in mind of what a true and loving father is like.
Our Lord delighted in His relationship with the Father (John 8:29), and God the Father bore witness to His pleasure in the Lord Jesus (Matthew 17:5). So as prayer is begun, it is good to take a moment and think of Who it is that we are approaching.
As you come to the Lord, remember He said in Jeremiah 31:3 (NIV)
“I have loved you with an everlasting love;
I have drawn you with unfailing kindness”.
Prayer is the place where you ought to feel welcome. It is the place where you belong. So come with an expectant heart. Be ready to speak your heart and be spoken to by the eternal God Who has both created and redeemed you.
Jesus said wonderful words in Matthew 11:28-29 (NIV)
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”
Is this not enough to make you desire the place of prayer? Do you not sense that you need to draw near to your heavenly Father and speak your heart? He eagerly waits for you to come and be welcomed. Do not delay to pray today but instead speak your heart as you go to work or school, as you enter the grocery store, as you drive in your car. In all places and at all times speak to your Father in heaven. He is listening now so speak and listen. You will not be disappointed.