“Pray then like this: ‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name.’”
Matthew 6:9 ESV

Jesus taught His disciples an array of parables and important lessons – from something as simple as giving to the poor to His complex teaching of loving your enemies. He knew everything we needed to know in order to be equipped and thriving in our relationship with Him. One of the things Jesus devoted time talking about is prayer.

Prayer is our way of communicating with God, a time to talk with Him and reflect on His glory. It is an essential element of our relationship with Him. Without communication, a sprouting leaf from a seed sown in the soils of a heart can be choked on by the thorns.

In Matthew 6:9-13, Jesus shows His disciples how they should pray and He starts with ‘Our Father in heaven.’ By simply calling God His Father, He demonstrates boldness and intimacy.

When we come to the Lord and approach Him as our Father, we are also acknowledging that we consider ourselves sons and daughters of God. Can you imagine the absurdity of that? God, the perfect Creator of the universe, is the Dad our grimy, guilt-stained hands reach out for. We may be the dirt-encrusted children who often run too far off or the haughty kids with noses stuck up in the air looking down at everyone with a judgmental arch of their eyebrow, and yet at the end of the day He still stands there with open arms waiting for us turn to Him and call Him our Father.

Our Dad. What a privilege! To call God our Father is a declaration saying that no matter how filthy, dirty, and bad I am—no matter what I’ve done in the past or what I will do in the future—no matter my situation and circumstance, He is my Father and I am His son or daughter. I can draw near to Him any time and talk to Him about anything. I can sit on His lap and cry to Him when I am hurt. And because God is holy, set apart and perfect, we can only come to Him with an unwavering confidence because of what Jesus has done for us.

Prayer isn’t a means to recite your ten-page wish list, but to worship Him as Lord and get to know Him as Dad. The God we serve hears us and listens to us, so let us approach Him as children filled with wonder. That is boldness in prayer. In remembering that though God knows us from the inside out, He loves us fully and relentlessly.

We proclaim the salvation that comes from Jesus, celebrate in the fact that we can enjoy the presence of the Lord freely, and take a bold step forward to true intimacy with our Savior.