Prayer And The Father Child Relationship

In the great Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7), Jesus gave His disciples what we usually call The Model Prayer (Matthew 6:9-13).Christians are instructed to address the Creator as, "Our Father which art in heaven" (verse 9). When Jesus promised to build His church (i.e.) those "called out" of the world to be Christians or children of God (Matthew 16:18), it was understood -- and should be today -- that the church is the house or household of God (1 Timothy 3:15). In other words, the Lord's church is the family of God.

 Applying the family analogy, God is the father, Christ is the elder brother, and Christians are the children or brothers and sisters. Paul expressed it this way (Galatians 3:26-28), "For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus." Therefore, Christians as children of God, have special access to their Heavenly Father.

 As children of God, there is the matter of inheritance. Paul pointed out (Titus 3:7). "That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life." He expanded on the concept in Romans 8:16-23 "The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together." Paul then describes the future bliss of our inheritance (18-23), "For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God. For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope, Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body."

 Our access to the Heavenly Father through prayer then comes naturally after we become His child, rather than we are still a child of the Devil and in rebellion to God's will, as revealed in the Bible. To become a child of God we must be born again (John 3:3-5). The basic purpose of our study is simple -- Am I on praying terms with God when the storms of life arise and we look for that peace that passes understanding?

 Dale I. Royal, Elk City OK