God is “our Father” (Matthew 6:9). Jesus taught His disciples to enter the presence of God with the understanding that He is our loving, tender Father. John MacArthur says in his exposition of Matthew 6:9, “The Aramaic term Jesus uses in Matthew 6:9 is Abba. That is an intimate, warm, familial term. God is not a distant ogre or a capricious, immoral Being who steps on His subjects. He is a loving, tender, caring Father. . . . All prayer begins with the recognition that God is a loving Father.”
The Fatherhood of God was at the core of the teaching and prayer life of Jesus. In His own prayers Jesus continually referred to God as Father. The most in-depth look at the prayer life of Jesus is found in John 17. Jesus’ first word in the prayer is “Father.” In Matthew 7:7–11 Jesus teaches the multitudes to ask, seek, and knock. He taught them that there is a loving Father that is eagerly waiting to meet them at their point of need.
This poses a problem for many people in this generation. Because there has been so much abuse of children by fathers, the term father can have a negative, perverted connotation for some believers. Jesus teaches, however, that the nature of our Father is goodness. He is a good Father, perfect in His goodness. He said, “If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more shall your Father who is in heaven give what is good to those who ask Him!” (Matthew 7:11, emphasis added).
Abba Father, Your nature is goodness and You long for me to be formed into the image of Your Son, Jesus Christ. How blessed I am that I can sit close to You and know that You want only what is good for my life. I pray for those whose lives have never been touched by Your love, or who have been kept at a distance from You because of the behavior of their earthly fathers. Show them Your faithfulness in the midst of their doubt and allow them to experience the fullness of Your perfect, loving heart.
Praise King Jesus, who today rules and reigns over his kingdom (Mt. 6:10). Thank him for including you as a citizen of his earthly and heavenly realm. Confess any disloyalty you’ve felt as one of Christ’s much-beloved subjects. Commit yourself to serving as an agent of peace in God’s kingdom. Ask that all of Satan’s attempts to overthrow this divine government will come to nothing.
Thank God that his kingdom has no end (Dan. 7:27) and that it extends to every corner of the map (Ps. 103:19). Pray for revival in countries where the church is weak and has lost its way.
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Connection (Devotions for Everyday Life) © 2014 is published daily by Harvest Prayer Ministries.