The Basis of Prayer

May 20, 2020

Matthew 6:9–10

“This, then, is how you should pray:

‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name,

10 your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

 The basis of prayer is “Our Father …”  Do you know that you never have a conversation with someone without a basis? If you try it, it can be pretty difficult. If you walk up to somebody on the street and say, “Oh by the way, could you do something for me?” you have no basis for conversation. Now in a small town in Kansas, it’s one thing, because you can walk up to a stranger in a small town in Kansas and you really do have a basis. You’re both in the same town.

But in a large metropolitan area like Sacramento, there’s no basis and the person will probably turn around and go somewhere else. But if you walk up and say, “Your best friend told me to come see you about this,” they’ll have to listen. Why? Because there’s a basis. On what basis do you approach God? Jesus tells us right here. Very important, very critical. The basis is this. Prayer only works on family terms. If God is only your Creator (and he is your Creator) and he is only your King (and he is your King), prayer doesn’t work.

He doesn’t say, “Start this way: ‘Our King …’ [Though he is a King], ‘Our Creator …’ [Though he is a Creator], ‘Our Sovereign …’ [Though he is].” But Jesus says, “Our Father …” Jesus was the first person to call God “Father” in the Bible. It’s an incredible thing to do, to be that familiar. You know, if you have been ushered into the presence of some chairman of some board or some influential head of government, somebody you’ve been dying to see because you really, really, really need to see that person, you’re honored by it and you’re scared to death that you’re going to mess up.

So what Jesus is saying is, “If you belong to me, then you automatically receive my status.” See, being born again is a wonderful experience, but in itself, it’s nothing. Being born again means you’re admitted to the family of God and now you have power (John 1:12). You have authority. You now can talk to God as a Father. What does that mean? Do you remember a minute ago I just said the thing everybody is dying for is a sense of intimacy with God? Power and intimacy?

This is the whole secret. If you don’t get anything else out of this devotion today get this. This is it. If you say, “My prayer life is boring,” you have never really gotten the hang of what it means to say, “Our Father …” Jesus is saying, “The power in your life and the fire in your prayer life all comes from the degree to which you understand what it means to say, “Our Father”


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