Focal Passage: Matthew 6:9a; Psalm 103:1-5, 11-13, 19-22
One of the biggest adjustments I had to learn as a new husband was to change my jargon and lingo when I was with my wife. As I spent most of my time with dormmates and friends, I had to learn how to more coherently converse with her. (Trust me guys, calling her “bro” and “dude” doesn’t work!)
I had to learn that how I viewed my wife determined how I talked with her. Likewise, the way we view God forms how we communicate with Him.
In Matthew 6, Jesus teaches us something fundamental about prayer. The most basic and foundational element of your prayer life should be to focus on seeing God as your loving Father. In this framework, your prayer life can thrive.
Apparently, the disciples saw prayer as a struggle, while prayer was a normal rhythm of life for Jesus.
In Matthew 6:9-13, we see a clear structure and model for our own lives as apprentices to Jesus – and the first step is to reshape our minds around how we view God.
God is, as He makes clear, our loving Father who works on behalf of us.
You can find a poetic reflection on this reality in Psalm 103.
The psalmist declares qualities that help shape our hearts and minds about our heavenly Father. We see a call to praise the God who forgives, redeems and satisfies us as we remember the benefits we have in Him.
He has compassion on us (v. 11-13), just as a father has compassion his children.
We have access to Him as our father, and therefore the benefits are accounted to us as His people.
As we begin this study, Jesus is calling us first to reform our minds about how we view God. After that, the praise and the petition will follow.
When we realize to whom we are talking, we can then pray properly. And this gives us hope in our prayer life.