When Jesus taught His disciples how to pray, He made them understand that the first step to praying effectively is being able to see and relate with God as a Father. He taught them that when you pray, call God your Father, talk to God as your father. Say to Him: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name” (Matthew 6:9). Most people address God as God, Lord, or Jehovah when praying and there’s nothing wrong with that. But the Holy Spirit helps us to address God with more affection and tenderness. The Holy Spirit helps us to call God “ABBA FATHER”. To see God as a Father is of utmost importance to our prayers or prayer life.
In Romans 8:15, a distinction is made between praying to God like a slave and praying to God like a child. There is A SPIRIT OF BONDAGE OR FEAR and there is THE SPIRIT OF ADOPTION OR SONSHIP. A slave is a person in bondage, a person who isn’t free. In a house where you have a helper or maid, you will discover that no matter how nice the parents are, the housemaid isn’t as free with the parents like the way the children are. The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Liberty (2 Corinthians 3:17) and where He is, when He dwells in a person, He makes that person free to talk to God anywhere, anytime and about anything. The Holy Spirit helps you to pray to God about anything from seemingly mundane things like what to wear, what to buy in the market, to very serious issues like whom to marry or relocating to another country (Philippians 4:6).
It is the Holy Spirit that puts that Spirit of Sonship in us that we can come near to God and relate intimately with Him even though He is a consuming fire. In Exodus 20:18-21, the Israelites demonstrated so much fear for God. This is the type of fear Romans 8:15 talks about. Not a reverential fear as we should all have the fear of God in us, but a fear that keeps you in bondage, a fear that makes you have a very cold and distant relationship with God. While the Spirit of Adoption or Sonship is the Spirit that makes you free to come near to God and relate with Him even when there’s fire, thunder and lightning all around Him. The Spirit of Sonship helps you see God as:
•A Father that is near you and can be approached for help when you are in need or faced with a problem (Hebrews 4:16).
•A Father that loves you and wants to give you the very best (Luke 11:13, James 1:17, Matthew 15:21-27).
•A Father that will not abandon you or cast you away when you mess up, make a mistake, fall into sin or error (Luke 15:11-32).
•A Father that is strong enough to protect you from all manner of danger, all enemies, or any ‘bully’; that wants to oppress you (Psalm 138:7, Psalm 121:7-8).
•A Father that will quickly remove anything and anyone He notices can harm you (2 Timothy 4:18).
•A Father that immediately notices when you are sad, crying and in pain and stretches out His loving hands to carry you, comfort you, and wipe away your tears (Isaiah 46:4, Isaiah 25:8).
•A Father that pays attention to the details of your life and is never too busy or tired to listen to you (1 Kings 18:26-27).
I believe it is because we are yet to fully see God as such a Father that prayer is such a drag, bore or struggle for most of us. Prayer and the Holy Spirit go hand in hand. You can’t separate the one from the other. It is the Holy Spirit that helps us to see God as a loving Father we can fondly and confidently cry out to for help, or discuss details of our life with. This is why anytime we pray, we shouldn’t do it on our own. We must invite the Holy Spirit to help us and reveal God, the Father to us so when we pray we are not just performing a religious routine, but having a chat with our Dad.
Have you had a chat with your Dad today? Is there something bothering you? Talk to Your Heavenly Father about that situation or issue and be rest assured that Your Dad will give you His full attention, He will take absolute control of the situation.
PHOTO CREDIT: Unsplash