Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | April 6, 2018

We “have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, “Abba! Father!” – “your Father knows what you need before you ask Him.” – “He is able to do it, being Almighty God, and willing, being a faithful Father.”

Today’s devotion comes from Matthew 6:7-15.

“7 “And when you are praying, do not use meaningless repetition as the Gentiles do, for they suppose that they will be heard for their many words.  8 So do not be like them;  for your Father knows what you need before you ask Him.

9 “Pray, then, in this way:

‘Our Father who is in heaven,
Hallowed be Your name.
10 ‘Your kingdom come.
Your will be done,
On earth as it is in heaven.
11 ‘Give us this day our daily bread.
12 ‘And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.
13 ‘And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil.  For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever.  Amen.’

14 For if you forgive others for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.  15 But if you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions.”  Matthew 6:7-15.

———————-

We can pray with confidence that God will hear and grant our prayer requests, because He is our Heavenly Father.

“For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, “Abba!  Father!”  The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God,”  Romans 8:15-16.

“Q. 26.  What believest thou when thou sayest, “I believe in God the Father, Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth”?

A. That the eternal Father of our Lord Jesus Christ (who of nothing made heaven and earth, with all that is in them;  who likewise upholds and governs the same by His eternal counsel and providence) is, for the sake of Christ His Son, my God and my Father;  on whom I rely so entirely, that I have no doubt but He will provide me with all things necessary for soul and body;  and further, that He will make whatever evils He sends upon me, in this valley of tears, turn out to my advantage;  for He is able to do it, being Almighty God, and willing, being a faithful Father.”  Heidelberg Catechism.

And, as a daughter does not worry about forming perfect words before telling her father what she wants, we need not worry about forming the perfect prayer.

“In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness;  for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words;  and He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.

And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.”  Romans 8:26-28.

Our Lord gave us the Lord’s Prayer as an example of how we should pray.  It can help, but too often we use it without thought as a magic wand.  Too often, we use it in meaningless repetition as our Lord tells us not to do.  “And when you are praying, do not use meaningless repetition as the Gentiles do, for they suppose that they will be heard for their many words.  So do not be like them;  for your Father knows what you need before you ask Him.”  Verses 7-8.

But, if we really think about why we should pray in this way and focus on the meaning of those words and our relationship to God and use our own words most of the time, then the Lord’s Prayer can help us.  Here is a link to what the Heidelberg Catechism states about it.  This link begins a Lord’s Day 46 and you can use the arrows to proceed through the following Lord’s Days until it ends at Lord’s 52, the end of the Heidelberg Catechism.  http://www.prca.org/about/official-standards/creeds/three-forms-of-unity/heidelberg-catechism/the-third-part/of-prayer/lord-s-day-46

“He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things?”  Romans 8:32.


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