Praying the Lord’s Prayer 01: Our Father

Hi, I’m Daniel Westfall on the channel “Pray with Me”.  

Today we start praying through the Lord’s Prayer, in the manner suggested by Martin Luther, where we pray one phrase at a time.  I’ll start by saying the whole prayer, then today I will pray around the first two words from the prayer, “Our Father.”

Our Father in Heaven,
    Hallowed be your name.
    Your kingdom come.
    Your will be done on earth as in heaven.
      Give us today our daily bread.
    And forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us.
    Save us from the time of trial,
    And deliver us from evil.
For yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory, now and forever,
Amen.

Our Father,

We have not seen you. We feel we hardly know you, but we call you by the name Father.  You are our Father because you made us, and we have inherited some of your genes, for we are made in the image of God.

We call you Father because you have cared for us.  You made us from the dust of the earth, and breathed into us the breath of life, and we became living beings.  Our every breath reminds us that you still breathe into us. Each time we wash dirt from our hands, we remember it is your grace that keeps us from turning back to dust.

When we call you Father, it reminds us of our earthly fathers.  For many of us, this triggers the fear and rejection and family dysfunction we grew up in.  
Some of us have never known our fathers, for they abandoned us before we were born.  
Some of us had fathers addicted to alcohol or drugs or violence or sex. They abused and mistreated us.  
Some of us had fathers who had post traumatic stress syndrome. They left us a legacy of fear and depression and mistrust and instability.  
Some of us had fathers who provided clothes and food and schooling, but never gave affection or a sense of belonging or love.

So when we call you Father, which of these Father-names belongs to You?

We come to you in Jesus’ name, because he taught us that you are not like the fathers we have known.  As a father has compassion on his children, so you have compassion on those who know you. Moses said, “In the wilderness, you saw how the Lord your God carried you, as a father carries his child.”  Jesus said, “How much more will your father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him?” Jesus also said that not even one sparrow will fall to the ground outside the Father’s care.

When we pray, “Our Father”, we set aside the dysfunction and fear we learned in our birth family, and we present to you our deep longing for a father who will
know us
and love us
and teach us to grow up and make us wise.  

Our Father,
take our broken lives,
take these wandering paths,
take these lost minds and mixed up emotions.
Carry us through this wilderness of life, as a true father carries his children.

Oh you who were Father to Jesus in the days of his life on earth, we hear his invitation for us to call you Father as he did.  And we share his confidence that you will do us good and not harm, that you will lead us safely through our joys and trials on earth until at last we join your one glad family in the city of God.

Amen

I’m Daniel on the channel Pray with Me.

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