“And when you pray…” Matt 6:5a. Jesus presumes that as Christians, we pray. God has drawn near to us, and we respond by being with Him in prayer. What’s most striking about prayer is that God just wants to be with us. He wants you. God has started this conversation with you, specifically with you, with His very words given in Scripture (John 1:1 Joshua 3:9, 2 Tim 3:16), who He’s revealed Himself to be in Creation (Romans 1:20), and through the workings of the Holy Spirit in you(John 14:17b). God is pursuing you and has gone to every length to be close to you. He’s inviting you to respond because He wants to be with you.
So talk back to Him. You don’t need the right words or to be in the perfect frame of mind before you start. You are already God’s Beloved, “As indeed he says in Hosea, ‘Those who were not my people I will call “my people,” and her who was not beloved I will call “beloved,’” Romans 9:25. “Beloved” is the very name the Father speaks over His Son, Jesus (Matthew 3:17), and now speaks over you. You have every access the very Son of God has to the Father. He accepts you right now, here, in this moment. There is nothing you can say or do to make God call you anything other than “My Beloved” because you are covered in grace by the blood of Jesus.
This season of prayer as a church, as well as this five week prayer guide, are designed to help you respond to the God who has already started the conversation with you. For the next five weeks, carve out 20 minutes in silence and stillness to talk to God, just the two of you. Talk to your community group about your experiences and how you see God moving through this time.
“This, then, is how you should pray: “ ‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name” Matthew 6:9
Monday, October 9th
Listen to “Doxology” by Page CXVI.
Close your eyes in stillness. Meditate (think deeply on) the lyrics.
How do the lyrics to this song make you feel? What do they make you think of? What rubs you the wrong way? What’s stirs your affections (makes you worshipful, grateful, feel deep love, etc) toward God?
Meditate on the lyrics “Lord, let my soul forever share; The bliss of thy paternal care.” Do you believe that God cares for you as your good, loving Father? Do you believe that His care for you is blissful, wonderful, now and forever?
*Talk to God about these things. Sing these lyrics back to Him from your heart.
Tuesday, October 10th
Talk to God about your earthly father. What is your relationship like? Does your earthly father make it easier or harder to see God as your good Father? Talk to God, your Heavenly Father, about this. Pray for your earthly father.
Wednesday, October 11th
Read these verses. Take your time meditating on God’s Fatherly character.
“For they [our earthly fathers] disciplined us for a short time as it seemed best to them, but he [God] disciplines us for our good, that we may share his holiness.” Hebrews 12:10
“Because you are his sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, ‘Abba, Father.’ So you are no longer a slave, but God’s child; and since you are his child, God has made you also an heir.” Galatians 4:6-7
“So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.” Matthew 6:31-32
Talk to God about what this stirs in you.
Thursday, October 12th
Talk to God about your understanding of what a father should be. Talk to Him about how your experiences and understanding of father align with or vary from God as your good, caring, faithful Heavenly Father. Ask God to align your thoughts about a good father closer to His character. Ask Him to grow you in your trust of God’s Fatherly care for you.
Friday, October 13th
Talk to your Heavenly Father about His holiness and approachability. Do you believe God desires you like a loving father desire to spend time with his kids? Ask you Heavenly Father to help you believe this beautiful truth.
Saturday, October 14th
Ask God to help the fathers at Veritas become more like Him. Name specific dads in our congregation and in your community group. Ask God how you can encourage the fathers at Veritas.