Thursday, 11th Week in Ordinary Time          

            It is such an astounding reality that it is almost impossible for us to comprehend the full meaning of the opening line of the Lord’s Prayer: “Our Father in heaven…” It assaults the way we so often think about our identity. It confronts our discouragements and fears. It exposes our self-oriented neediness and our addiction to the acceptance of others.

            If we truly believe that we have our Father in heaven, then, we are in a place where we can find true and lasting security. It is one of the most amazing, life-altering gifts of the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ. It is a deeply personal, heart-satisfying recognition that we must carry with us wherever we go.

            The opening line of Jesus’s model prayer for his disciples teaches this unspeakably marvelous truth: If you are God’s child, you have a Father in heaven! Stop for a moment and let that sink in. What a glorious and encouraging way Christ instructs us to begin our prayers. We are to begin with the most shocking and encouraging of all things that our minds could ever consider: that we have our Father in heaven who is always with us.

            Paul David Tripp explains what having a Father in heaven means: “That Being who has such incomparable wisdom and power that he was able to design and create everything that exists – that Being is our Father.” “That deity who has been able, by the exercise of supreme authority, to control every event of history; to have his will done in every location; and to completely control every life of every person who has ever lived – that deity is our Father.” “That One who in magnificent love put the plan of redemption in motion, so that at the right moment his Son came to live, die, and rise again so that we would have new and eternal life – that One is our Father.” “That King who won’t ever leave the work of his hands till everything he has purposed to do in us and in the world that he created has been fully done – that King is our Father” “That God who never needed a teacher or a counselor, who knows the stars by name, and who can hold the waters of the universe in the palm of his hand – that God is our Father.”

            That is why we must always pray with confidence. There is no situation location where we are ever alone because our heavenly Father is always with us.

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