It’s the month of Father’s Day. On June 20th families will scramble to buy Dad a grill, tie, or fishing pole. It’s a good day for most. It’s time to celebrate the men in our lives, but sometimes loss of our dads or the lack of a good dad can put a hamper on the holiday.
Not all of us had the best dad, but I think we can all agree what a good dad does for his children. A good dad loves his babies. He provides, protects, and gives generously. He disciplines lovingly and wisely, and a good dad spends quality time with his little ones. That’s a good dad.
It’s hard for humans to fulfill all those characteristics, but it’s not hard for our Father in heaven. Jesus taught about the Father all the time, and one of the most important teachings he gave us was how to pray. The first sentence is paramount:
Our Father in heaven,Matthew 6: 9-13
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
Forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one.
Many of us have read the Lord’s prayer so often, it is easy to gloss over the beginning. Yet, I believe Jesus was ushering in a new understanding of God. He clinched it after he rose from the dead. I love the words He spoke to Mary Magdalene the morning of His resurrection:
“Do not hold onto me, for I have not yet returned to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am returning to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.”John 20:17
There is great significance in his words. God was not only God anymore. He now became our Father. God became even more personal than the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Prayer evolved from petitions to dialogue with someone more than a creative being. The Creator offered more than breath; He offered Himself. We became his children. Prayer became part of a relationship rather than something religious people do.
Praying to the Father
Despite knowing this, I never really experienced the power of the word Father for God until I prayed it one morning years ago. The warmth of the sun beaming through my window did not match the warmth that filled my heart as I purposefully prayed, “Father….”
I know this is not revelation for many of you. I didn’t think it was for me either until I began to intentionally begin my prayers this way. Take some time this week to meditate on God being your Father. If it is normal for you to start your prayers with “God…” try addressing Him as Father. I would love to hear your thoughts and experiences. Leave a comment below or join me on Instagram where I place the verse for the day from the reading plan with some of my thoughts. I’ll also post a new video on my YouTube channel Wednesday to help us unpack some of these verses.
Bible Reading Plan on the Father
To help us cultivate the perspective of God as our Father, our Bite of Bread reading plan is filled with verses about God as our Abba. I gleaned many of these verses from DailyVerses.net. There is more there if you want to visit that great site.
How to Use This Plan
Each month I make a printable to use. Here’s the Printable with the scriptures. But you may also just want to take a screen shot of the list above. here’s some suggestions on how to use this plan:
- Wake up early or find that space in the day when you will not be super rushed. When my kids were small, my quiet time was during their nap time (if I didn’t fall asleep first!)
- Make your time with the Lord special. Light a candle, pour a cup of coffee or hot tea, and gather your Bible, journal, and this plan.
- Pray. Before you read, breathe in deep, eyes closed, and ask the Father to speak to you.
- Read the scripture and turn it into a prayer. Write your prayer down in your journal. As you write the scripture, add your words of praise and worship.
- Make the verse your own. Personalize it with your heart, desires, thankfulness, and words of praise.
Don’t Forget the Printable
Other powerful ways to use these scriptures include reading out loud either standing up or on your knees. After you’ve spent some time in the scripture and writing in your journal, wait on God. Sip your coffee and simply wait in silence. If you receive anything from Him, write it down. You are so loved. Love Him back with your time. He is such a good, good Father.
The Prodigal’s Father
My favorite parable is the Prodigal Son. It’s not the son I’m drawn to but the Father. The patient, forgiving, wise, loving, and generous Father. Sisters, it does not matter how far we’ve fallen, He waits for us. Years ago I left my faith in Jesus to pursue other faiths. My failure to persuade others to come to Christ caused great doubt in my own heart of His truth.
I didn’t realize the magnitude of what I had done when I decided to make a religions the same, but years later I’d understand. Combining all religions may recognize a creator, but it denies a Savior. And oh how we need a Savior.
I walked around empty that year trying to fill in the hole with shoes and boys, but neither did the trick. Yet, despite my faith failure, the Father waited patiently. He kept pursuing me. He gave me a wonderful mentor and friend who made it her life’s work to bring me back home.
We were standing in her shadowed kitchen, with one small lamp and the moon’s rays as our only light source when my desperation for His presence won out over all my questions. I just wanted His Spirit again. And I got it. On that kitchen floor in the middle of a summer night I ran into the Father’s arms.
If you want to know the Father, you just need to love the Son. Jesus is the key. I desperately want you to know my God and your God, my Father and your Father.
Much grace and peace,
Need other reading plans? You might want to check out: