In Matthew 6 the disciples ask Jesus how to pray. Jesus says, "Pray, then, in this way: Our Father who art in heaven, Hallowed be Thy name."
Often, I've gone past that verse to the rest. And you probably recognize it. It is the first part of what we call "The Lord's Prayer."
But going past this verse might mean we miss the most important part of the prayer -- coming to God as our Father. If we come to God as our Father then we are coming to Him as His children. Coming to God as His child is how we are heard; how we can have true connection with God; how we can rest in Him.
In Luke 18 Jesus says, "Permit the children to come to Me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Truly I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it at all."
Coming to God as His children puts our relationship with Him in the right perspective. Think of the most perfect earthly Father (yours or maybe one you've seen on TV or someone you know) and then multipy that goodness by infinity and you might get a glimpse of what a good Father our God is. That is Who you go to in prayer.
The most perfect, loving and compassionate Parent will listen to you. He understands you. He knows what you need. He longs to give you good things and will. He cannot be bought. He cannot be bribed. He cannot be coerced into doing things for us (thank God for that. For if He could, think of what that would mean long-term).
Prayer can sometimes be intimidating. Paul writes in 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, "Be cheerful no matter what; pray all the time; thank God no matter what happens. This is the way God wants you who belong to Christ Jesus to live."
How can we pray all the time? Don't we have to function in this world?
Yes, and having a prayer-like attitude within can help us function the very best way we can.
Let me share with you a quote from Max Lucado:
"Think of prayers less as an activity for God and more as an awareness of God. Seek to live in uninterrupted awareness. Acknowledge his presence everywhere you go."
We do that with those we love all the time. When we're with them, we don't usually talk nonstop. We may talk a bit and then be silent with the awareness they are still there. Maybe we continue the same conversation with them for hours.
An unbroken line of communication with our Father -- that is what we need and truly desire. Think on it on this thankful holiday (or any day you read this). If you can't truly call God Father yet, click here and take the steps necessary for you to be able to do that. It's simple and totally life-changing.