2) And he said unto them, When ye pray, say, Our Father which art in heaven…
So here is where Jesus began to teach the disciples how to pray. He says Our Father.
This is a corporate prayer. He’s not just my Father, or your Father- He’s our Father. Sometimes we get so caught up with prayer being about me, me, me- that we forget we are praying to the government of Heaven. We are sending up a petition from a member of the body of Christ. This word, “our”, builds unity into our prayer.
35) I have shewed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive.
36) And when he had thus spoken, he kneeled down, and prayed with them all.
Our brothers and sisters sometimes are weak and our prayers help to lift them.
1) We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves.
Ought means- you should do this, I expect you to do this, you better do this.
Look at how much is in this one word- ‘Our’. When we begin prayer like this it’s no longer just me, I am praying as a citizen of the kingdom of Heaven and I am praying a corporate prayer that includes all of us, which builds all of us and strengthens all of us.
Next, remember who you are praying to. The Father. This is so many things in one word. The word Father in the Hebrew is ABBA which also means source and sustainer. He is Source, Sustainer, Government, ABBA! Why is this important? It’s important because we are recognizing who He is to us at the start of our prayer. We don’t make Him Father God, He’s Father God no matter what- so it’s important that we acknowledge Him as Our Father. That’s all we can do- acknowledge Him. So when we begin our prayers we’re recognizing Him and saying “Our Source, our Sustainer, our Father”.
Please don’t miss this… A source is this.
Source: anything or place from which something comes, arises, or is obtained.
When you call Him Father- you are recognizing Him as where everything that you need comes from. You are stating that everything that has been obtained, will be obtained, or can be obtained, can only come from Him.
When you call Him Father you are declaring Him your Sustainer- that means what keeps you and maintains you is Him alone! Praise God! That is a powerful statement!
I have to add this in here right now…
23) But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him.
This use of spirit is very important. It is not capitalized so it’s not talking about the Holy Spirit, which is always capitalized. This word is lowercase and refers to “attitude and awareness”. You cannot worship God or pray effectively if your mind is not on what you’re doing. Your attitude has to be towards the thing, aware of what you are saying and who you are saying it to in order to do something in spirit.
So when you are calling on Him, Our Father, BE AWARE of what you are saying. When you understand these truths of these two short words, praying aware with an attitude of understanding- you’re calling upon the government of Heaven, Source and Sustainer of all things, in a corporate prayer from the body.
This is going to add so much to your prayer life- because we can only do something effectively, when we have understanding.
[Just as a side note: I am not teaching, to be so restrictive, that it’s wrong to say “My Father”. It’s just important for us to understand that we pray for others and that Jesus was showing it’s not just about us. What good is it, if I’m blessed and my friends and neighbors aren’t. Sure, they can pray- but we lift up the weak in faith in our prayers. We’re supposed to pray for one another. It’s not just about your blessing, your needs, your wants- it’s about the kingdom. It’s not about one citizen having all the wealth and all the health, it’s about His kingdom having wealth and being in good health. When we look at a country in the world and we see a few in power and living well, but most of the country is in poverty and sickness- there is something wrong. But when the entire nation thrives- wow how awesome. “What is it with those people, they are all in good health, all have their needs met, they all have joy, they all are blessed.”]