When we address the Triune God as our "Father," we thereby indicate that we are children of His. We must keep in mind what that also means when we address God. We cannot approach God as if somehow He is our equal. We do not seek to make some special agreement with God. Surely we do not approach God as though we are speaking to a servant or a slave. We do not draw up a list of things we want of God and expect that He ought to hear us and provide as we have asked.
Rather, we recognize that we are sons (by adoption through Christ's shed blood) and our Father will give us what is right and good for us. Scripture expresses it thus: "...we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groaning which cannot be uttered" (Rom 8:26). It must also be true that we ask with the understanding that only "if the Lord will" can we do what we propose or receive that for which we ask (Jam 4:15).
The "Lord's Prayer" is Christ's own instruction concerning the necessary things for which we must ask. There are six necessary petitions - each important in its own way. One is not limited to these six petitions. Yet there is a sense that these six petitions include everything essential for our lives on this earth. The Heidelberg Catechism continues to analyze each of these petitions in turn.
But in every prayer and every petition, we address our Father in heaven, which ought to excite in us a childlike reverence and confidence. This childlike attitude is seen in children. It is touching to see young children run to their parents. There they believe themselves to be safe. As long as they can hold to their father's hand, they can be virtually fearless. When they are separated from their parents, they can be filled with fear. The Psalmist also compares the father’s care for his children with that of God for His people (Psa 103:12-14).
That confidence is also taught in Scripture which describes God as a high tower into which the righteous runneth and is safe. What comfort, what assurance ought to be ours when we have our heavenly Father to whom we can turn. He protects and provides; He comforts and encourages. Our Father works all things together for good to them that love Him.
- Date: 16-November
Rev. G. Van Baren (Wife: Clara)
Ordained: October, 1956
Pastorates: Doon, IA - 1956; Randolph, WI - 1962; First, Grand Rapids, MI - 1965; Hudsonville, MI - 1977; Loveland, CO - 1994
Emeritus: 1999Website: www.sermonaudio.com/search.asp?speakeronly=true&currsection=sermonsspeaker&keyword=Rev._Gise_Van_Baren
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