As the day comes we must pray to our heavenly Father, and reckon we could as well go a day without food, as without prayer. We are taught to hate and dread sin while we hope for mercy, to distrust ourselves, to rely on the providence and grace of God to keep us from it, to be prepared to resist the tempter, and not to become tempters of others. Here is a promise, If you forgive, your heavenly Father will also forgive. We must forgive, as we hope to be forgiven. Those who desire to find mercy with God, must show mercy to their brethren. – Matthew Henry
Phil Newton shares some thoughts for those who have not had the best relationships with their earthly father and what that might mean when approaching God as Father as Jesus suggested in His teaching on how to pray —
Some of you may have bad memories of your earthly father. I have observed through the years that some people have unfounded fears of God, and grave apprehensions of depending upon Him because they bear deep wounds of their own earthly fathers that disappointed them time and time again. The image of father brings pain to them and not delight. They could never measure up to their father’s expectations or demands. They never felt an intimacy with him because of his self-centered ways. That is why our Lord distinguishes the Heavenly Father from all sinful, earthly fathers. He is not like those bad memories that haunt your understanding of God. He is “Our Father who is in heaven.”…Gardiner Spring gives us a picture of what it means to call upon God as Father. “Secrets may be committed to God that cannot be committed to another. The world knows not of this relief, to spread before Him the secret wants of the soul; to tell them one by one; to tell them all. The conscience, wounded by a sense of sin, finds healing there. Want there finds supply; distrust finds confidence and depression finds praise. Ignorance is enlightened there; poverty is enriched, and weakness becomes strong. Darkness is there dissipated and trembling hopes encouraged. The bruised reed is not broken there, nor is the smoking flax quenched. Grace there cherishes what it bestows, and completes what it begins…There are no broken cisterns at the mercy seat; it is all a fountain of living water, where streams flow from it, without which this earth were a desert.”…It is in the sphere of relationship to God as Father that kingdom citizens find the significance of prayer. It is not a psychological exercise that helps us to cope with the troubles of life, but the heart of children gathering into the bosom of their Father to find peace, comfort, security, and provision for every need. Do you see the Father like that? Are you in relationship to Him through faith in Jesus Christ alone? Then pray, and pray often and boldly, to the Father in heaven.
There is hope and encouragement just knowing that our Father wants to meet us now and give us a taste of His kingdom.
Our sustaining hope is in the coming kingdom. We can more easily commit ourselves to God’s will thinking about that kingdom.
“Pray then in this way: Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And do not bring us to the time of trial, but rescue us from the evil one. For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you; but if you do not forgive others, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” – Matthew 6:9-15