THE FATHER’S BLESSING
Luke 11:2 ¶ So He said to them, “When you pray, say:
Our Father in heaven,
Hallowed be Your name.
Your kingdom come.
Your will be done
On earth as it is in heaven.
One of the simplest and, at the same time, most profound things Jesus taught is what we call the Lord’s Prayer. Jesus shared this prayer with his disciples in response to their simple request, “Lord, teach us to pray”. This is a great example of the teaching of our Lord, child like simplicity and unmistakeable power. No one ever taught like this man. The beginning of this prayer begins to lead us out into the bottomless ocean of God’s love; “Our Father”, how incredible. The Lord of all things has become my Father. As I begin my prayer calling out to my Father I become aware of His nearness and love for me. Intimacy like this is beyond anything I had ever hoped for, I am safe and secure in the protection of my Father God. A.B. Simpson spoke about this intimacy in prayer as we call out to our Heavenly Father.
“The first view given of God in the Lord’s Prayer is not His majesty but His paternal love. To the listening disciples this must have been a strange expression from the lips of their Lord as a pattern for them. Never had Jewish ear heard God so named, at least in His relation to the individual. The Father of the Nation He was sometimes called, but no sinful man had ever dared to call God his Father. They, doubtless, had heard their Master speak in this delightful name of God as His Father, but that they should call Jehovah by such a name had never dawned upon their legal and unillumined minds. And yet it really means that we may and should recognize that God is our Father in the very sense in which He is His Father, and ours as partakers of His Sonship and His Name. The Name expresses the most personal and tender love, protection, care, and intimacy; and it gives to prayer, at the very outset, the beautiful atmosphere of the home circle and the delightful affectionate and intimate fellowship of friend with friend.”
One of the profound blessings we receive when The Lord pours out His Spirit in revival is a restoration of intimacy and relation with our Father in heaven. One of the hubs of the revival in the 1990’s was the Toronto Airport Church. The Spirit of God began to be poured out there in unusual ways in January of 1994. One of the distinct characteristics of that outpouring was a new appreciation of the Father’s love. As a matter of fact the pastor of that church, John Arnott, liked to call the outpouring “The Father’s Blessing”. He wrote a popular book about his experiences called “The Father’s Blessing” describing the restoration of intimacy with God. At the end of the day that is what revival (or prayer for that matter) is all about. The Lord pours out His Spirit of grace and supplication, our response is “Father, thank you for your love for me”.