Before Jesus gives His disciples the model we call “The Lord’s Prayer,” He lays a foundation (Matthew 6:5-13). He warns them to avoid two traps. One, the religious hypocrite who prays to be seen. Two, the pagan Gentile who uses many words to get his god’s attention. Jesus says, “Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask Him.”
The phrase “Your Father knows” rolls around in my mind.
What does it mean for my everyday life that my Father knows?
Before I pray, He is already looking on me in awareness. He already knows what I think I need and what I truly need.
Before I express a word, my Father waits. He already sees, knows, understands and cares. He knows me better than I will ever know myself.
When I emphasize the word “MY Father” all that is personal, intimate, tender, comes to mind. “My” is possessive. I belong to Him and He belongs to me.
When I emphasize “FATHER” a door swings open to inexhaustible contemplation:
“Father to the fatherless and protector of widows is God in His holy habitation” (Psalm 68:5). “For my father and mother have forsaken me, but the Lord will take me in” (Psalm 27:10).
“As a father shows compassion on his children, so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear Him. For He knows our frame; He remembers that we are dust” (Psalm 103:13,14).
“But now, O Lord, you are our Father; we are the clay, and You are our potter; we are the work of Your hand” (Isaiah 64:8). “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them” (Ephesians 2:10).
“Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:9,10).
“But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you” (Matthew 6:6).
“And because you are sons (and daughters), God has sent the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, ‘Abba, Father!’ So you are no longer a slave, but a son (or daughter), and if a son (or daughter) then an heir through God” (Galatians 4:6,7). Abba. Father. Papa. Daddy.
When I die I will commit my spirit into the hands of MY Father just as Jesus did. “Then Jesus, calling out in a loud voice, said, ‘Father, into Your hands I commit my spirit’” (Luke 23:46). And I will dwell in the Father’s house forever (John 14:2,3).
My Father, please enable me to live more fully in this mystery: You know me all the way to my unexcavated core; nothing is hidden from Your omniscient eye; and though You know me You are not put off; You love me. You know my tangled circumstance and the possible choices and outcomes. You know my beginning and my end, and all the blessed and bumpy days in-between. May the beauty of this mystery work on me to softly chisel away patterns of thought that hinder. Flower this mystery in my life. Please.