In Matthew 6:9-13 Jesus taught his disciples how to pray. It is a short prayer – just 58 words in the original Greek and 52 words in the English (NIV).
The first four words are bursting with life truth.
Our: Prayer is much more than me, myself and I. “Our” includes brothers and sisters in Christ at church, in the nation, around the world and believers from generations past and future. Even in private prayer we join our voice to the eternal multitudes of the redeemed that have, are and forever will lift their voice to the King of Kings.
Father: To whom do we lift our voices in Prayer? To the Giver of Life, the Sustainer of Life, the Source of Love, our Strong Protector, the Lover of Our Souls, our Abundant Provider, our Refuge in the Storm, our Faithful Guide, our….. Everything. God is our Good Father.
In: God is everywhere – in every place and in every moment. He permeates his creation. He is aware with care of everything everywhere.
Heaven: Though he is everywhere, in prayer we best focus on God “in heaven”. That place, like no other, speaks of purity, righteousness, light, truth, joy, authority, unity, peace, true worship and the absence of anything unclean, impure or evil. The attributes of God are best understood as we turn our hearts to him in heaven.
So before we launch into our prayer lists, prayer concerns and prayer needs, let us quiet our souls with these four words: our…. Father….. in ….. heaven.