With Christ in the School of Prayer

Day 6 – The Infinite Fatherliness of God

Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good things to those who ask Him! — Matthew 7:9-11.

In this cherished passage, Jesus reveals the heart of our heavenly Father. He contrasts the inherent imperfection of earthly parents with the limitless perfection and goodness of God. Just as a loving parent on earth desires to give good things to their children, our Heavenly Father’s eagerness to bless His children surpasses all human understanding.

This message is profound yet straightforward: the essence of prayer lies not in the words we speak, but in the relationship we have with our Father. Like a child trusts a parent, we are called to trust in the divine providence of God. This trust transforms our prayer life, elevating it from mere requests to a deep communion with the Father.

However, this communion demands more than just asking; it requires a life lived in harmony with God’s will. The Beatitudes, as presented in Matthew 5, describe those who are blessed: the meek, the pure in heart, the peacemakers. These are the children of God. Living in such a manner brings us closer to the heart of God, aligning our desires with His, and thus, our prayers become a reflection of His will.

Prayer, therefore, is not just a means of obtaining what we want but is an opportunity to align our hearts with God’s. As we live out the teachings of Jesus, particularly those in the Sermon on the Mount, we grow in our understanding of what it truly means to be children of God. This growth is not an expectation of perfection but a journey of becoming, where we continually strive to reflect our Father’s heart.

The beauty of this relationship is that our Father knows our weaknesses and meets us in them. He does not require that we approach Him in perfection, but rather, He invites us to come as we are, earnestly seeking to grow in His likeness. In doing so, our prayers become an extension of our relationship with Him, filled with trust, surrender, and love.

In contemplating the nature of God as our Father, we should consider the best qualities of earthly fathers and magnify them infinitely. We can then begin to grasp the depth of God’s love for us. This understanding should permeate every aspect of our lives, guiding our actions and attitudes, and leading us to live in constant awareness of His presence.

Word in Action

Today, reflect on the nature of your relationship with God. Are you approaching Him merely to present a list of requests, or are you seeking a deeper connection as His child? Strive to live in a way that reflects your status as a child of God, letting His will and love guide your actions and prayers.

Wondering in the Word

How can you more fully embrace your identity as a child of God, and how might this deeper understanding transform your approach to prayer and your daily life?