February 10, 2021

Our Father

Matthew 6:9-13

“This then is how you should pray, ‘Our Father . . .’”

—  Matthew 6:9

Did you know there’s a difference between the Old Testa­ment and the New Testa­ment understandings of God as Father? The Hebrews (in the Old Testament) thought of God as like a father. The New Testament teaches that God is our Father.

The Hebrew Scriptures use many images depicting God’s love and care for his people. Among them, these images include “father,” “shepherd,” “mother,” “rock,” and “fortress.” In the New Testament, though, Jesus tells his followers that God is their Father.

“But wait a minute,” you might say; “don’t we confess that Jesus alone is the Son of God?” Yes, but by God’s grace and through Jesus’ sacrifice for us, we have been adopted as God’s children, with all of the rights and privileges of belonging to God’s family. Being children of God provides us with abundant comfort in our daily lives.

Jesus shows us that being God’s children has tremendous implications for our prayers too. When we begin to pray, we should say, “Our Father,” because remembering that God is our Father awakens in us a childlike awe and trust—and this assures us that he hears and answers our prayers and provides just what we need.

Our Father, we come as your children, believing and trusting that you will provide for our every need. We do this through Jesus Christ, our Lord, who gave us the right to become your children. Amen.

About the author — Kurt Selles

Kurt Selles is the director of ReFrame Ministries and serves as the Executive Editor of Today. He is a graduate of Calvin College and Seminary, and received his PhD from Vanderbilt University. Before coming to ReFrame, he served 19 years in Taiwan and China with CRC World Missions. Kurt later taught missions at Beeson Divinity School, where he also acted as the director of the school’s Global Center. Kurt and his wife, Vicki, reside in Grand Rapids and have three adult children.

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