by Carolyn Schmitt

As a young child I was taught to say the “Lord’s prayer” this way:

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, forever. Amen.  Matthew 6:9-13 KJV

Along with Psalm 23, it was what I knew best by memory.  Then some years later this verse became very important to me: 

Delight yourself also in the Lord,
And He shall give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37:4 NKJV

I have only one living memory of my own father who died when I was 4 years old. What I desired more than anything was a father who I could belong to. 

This verse in Psalms has comforted me for many years both as an orphan and as a widow:

Sing to God, sing praises to His name;
Lift up a song for Him who rides through the desert—His name is the Lord—be in good spirits before Him.
A father of the fatherless and a judge and protector of the widows, is God in His holy habitation.
God makes a home for the lonely. 
Psalm 68:4-6a AMP

 So I have realized that God desires to be called, “Our Father”! (My friend, Grace, pointed out the next two verses to me.)

“I thought to myself,
‘I would love to treat you as my own children!’
I wanted nothing more than to give you this beautiful land—the finest possession in the world.
I looked forward to your calling me ‘Father,’
and I wanted you never to turn from me.” Jeremiah 3:19 NLT

Are we not all children of the same Father? Are we not all created by the same God? Malachi 2:10a NLT

I love how Jesus prays for his disciples in the whole of John 17, especially since his prayer is not only for the ones who have been with him for the years since he first shared his Father with them, but that he prays for all who have come, and will come to him and his Father through all the years until his return.

Jesus Prays for All Believers

“My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one—I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.

“Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world.

“Righteous Father, though the world does not know you, I know you, and they know that you have sent me. I have made you known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them.” John 17:20-26


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