When I pray to God, Do I Call Him Father?
By Elaine Creasman
“How many of you call God ‘Father’ when you pray?” the seminar speaker asked.
Less than 25 of the 200 present raised their hands. Most people admitted they called God “Lord.”
“Until we see Him as Father, instead of boss, which ‘Lord’ means to many, there will problems relating to God,” the speaker continued.
I called God “Father” when I prayed, but there was still something wrong. Why didn’t I feel close to Him? Why was I afraid of Him—in the wrong sort of way? Why did I struggle so much with trusting Him?
In the quiet moments the speaker gave us to meditate on our bond with Father God, I discovered I called God, “Heavenly Father.” I saw him as a father, but he was a far-away kind—no closer to me than the father a young girl talks about, who lives in another state after a divorce--one she rarely gets together with. It seemed I could not imagine God the Father next to me. The Holy Spirit—my teacher and guide—yes. Jesus, my Savior and Friend—yes. But God the Father right here on earth, right here with me? The thought terrified me.
As I sat in the pew with my eyes closed, it seemed God the Father, who I had tried to ignore for so many years was asking, “Are you going to let me into your life?”
What would happen if I did? I imagined He would criticize—there was so much I was failing at lately. Surely He would be angry, which is how I saw God portrayed in the Old Testament. I thought of my own father and how it seemed I could never please him growing up. I felt certain the same would hold true for God, the Father.
Heavenly Father, how can I let You come down from heaven and into my life when I’m so afraid You’ll reject me—when it seems You can do nothing less—when it seems I deserve nothing more? I prayed.
Something inside me did not want to hold back. “OK, heavenly Father, I’m willing to let You out of the heavenly box I’ve locked You into and see You as my Father, right here, right now.”
As I said those words in my mind, I saw a vision there also. God, the Father stepped down from His heavenly throne. He moved toward me in the pew. I braced myself for His harsh look and for His towering over me and booming out His displeasure toward me as my earthly Father had done. I imagined there would be many words from Him telling me of the times I had done wrong and what I needed to do to improve. His confronting me on my evil ways would take hours, maybe even days.
Instead, God the Father came and knelt in front of me, and in my mind I saw Him do something I did not expect. He washed my feet. With tears running down my cheeks and amazement welling up inside my heart at how much God the Father loved me, at that moment the words that Jesus said in John 14:9 finally hit home to me: “Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father.” (NIV)
Since that day I have grown in enjoying my relationship with not only God, my Father, but with God, my Abba Daddy. One of the verses I’ve fully embraced since then is Zephaniah 3:17. Whenever I read that verse, I sense the love and mercy of God the Father.
The LORD your God is in the midst of you, a Mighty One, a Savior [Who Saves]! He will rejoice over you with joy; He will rest [in silent satisfaction] and in His love He will be silent and make no mention [of past sins, or even recall them]; He will exult over you with singing. (Amplified)
Do you want to know your Heavenly Father in this way?
Elaine Creasman is a freelance writer and part time mental health tech. She lives with her husband in Largo, Florida. Visit her at her website: www.elainecreasman.com and check out her blogs at http://elainecreasman.wordpress.com/
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