Prayer Begins With "Our Father"

Jesus taught us to pray, “Our Father in heaven…” (Matthew 6:9). Prayer will only work in the context of this relationship where we recognize God as our loving Father and Jesus as our Friend and Brother and Savior. Jesus made it clear that prayer is simply speaking and listening to your heavenly Father, respectfully but openly, just as He did. It is the natural expression of our heart that expresses the intimacy that flows spontaneously from our love for Him.

It is because of our relationship with Jesus Christ that we are “in Christ,” that God hears our prayers. We must pray to the Father in Jesus’ name, not our own name (John 16:24, 26; Colossians 3:17). This means that we are basing our approach to God on Jesus’ righteousness and goodness, not on our own. We receive His righteousness when we repent, confess our sins, and believe that we receive His righteousness. We should know then that “in him we might become the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Corinthians 5:21), and we can come directly and boldly to have an audience with God because of the sacrifice of Jesus in our place (Hebrews 4:16).

We come as children of God (Galatians 3:26; John 1:12), as members of the royal family of God (Revelation 1:6), and not as beggars or strangers. Therefore, when we pray, we should expect that God will answer our prayers (1 Peter 3:12). Answered prayer is how He manifests Himself in our lives and makes this relationship personal. “For the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him” (2 Chronicles 16:9).

This is part 1 of our 8-part series on prayer.