Praying “Our Father”

Remember this: the Holy Spirit is the One Who helps us to pray. Jesus instructed us on how to pray, and the Holy Spirit helps us to obey those instructions.

After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen. – Matthew 6:9-13 (KJV)

Our Father…

Notice here that Jesus does not instruct us to pray, “My Father”. He is teaching us to pray from a point of unity, from the sense of collective belonging. In fact, Jesus taught us that we should reconcile our issues with each other before approaching our Heavenly Father. Unity is so important to the Lord that He will not even hear your prayers until you have forgiven others.

…leave your sacrifice there at the altar. Go and be reconciled to that person. Then come and offer your sacrifice to God. – Matthew 5:24 (NLT)

Unity brings about a greater power when we pray. But unity isn’t just about praying corporately or in groups. To pray from the collective sense by truly declaring, “Our Father”, we must pray without offense within our hearts. In this way, even when we are praying in solitude before the Lord, we can still rightfully pray, “Our Father”.

True unity is about being free from offense. True unified prayer is prayer without grudges or bitterness.

So how do we live in this unity and, thereby, pray from the right posture?

Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace. – Ephesians 4:3

The Holy Spirit is the One Who promotes unity among the brethren and is, therefore, the One Who helps us to rightfully pray the “Our” in “Our Father”.

Our Father…

Think about what that means. Jesus begins the prayer by recognizing His Sonship. He starts from faith, not from questioning. He enters prayer with confidence, not with begging. Prayer begins with Sonship; it is not a means to obtain it.

How much time could you save in prayer if, instead of begging God to hear you, you believed He already did?

We must enter prayer knowing that we are children of God. We must come to Him in confidence. Don’t waste another moment begging for God to hear you. Know that He hears you now!

“Our Father which art in Heaven!”

Here again the Holy Spirit is our Helper, for He convinces us of our rightful place as God’s Children.

For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. – Romans 8:15

And because we are his children, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, prompting us to call out, “Abba, Father.” – Galatians 4:6

However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him. – Romans 8:9

Perhaps the most important work that the Holy Spirit will ever do is convince us of our identity in Christ. He convicts us about who we are. Conviction is deeply held belief. The Holy Spirit doesn’t just convict us about sin – He convicts us of our identity and God’s righteousness.

And when he comes, he will convict the world of its sin, and of God’s righteousness, and of the coming judgment. – John 16:8

He convicts us (causes us to deeply believe) that we are children of God.

The Holy Spirit helps us to truly pray, “Our Father”. He helps us to stand in the collective sense of “Our” by helping us to live free of offense and in unity with one another. And He helps us to identify God as our “Father” by convicting us of Sonship.