Often when I have heard the prayer that Jesus taught the disciples and felt that I was missing something. In this study on imitating Jesus and looking into the understanding that Jesus may have had, I see this prayer in a new light. It is not the words that matter rather it is the understanding that we have that will make this prayer live in our lives. Jesus was in heaven and he saw first hand the glory that was God’s. With the help of scripture and other study material I would like to explore the understanding that the disciples and Jesus had.
Adam Clark was helpful in knowing what the disciples understood of God in heaven. When Jesus gave this prayer to the disciples he used terms that were widely used in their day but may have lost some of the understanding in our culture today. They realized that God was a spirit and for them to pray to him they would have to pray with their spirit. This inter action between the spiritual and fiscal worlds are ofter found in scripture as we shall see.
In Solomon’s prayer of dedication for the temple (1 Kings 8: 22) he said that the heavens could not contain God. The spirit of God was not only in every place in heaven but was also in every place on earth. In Romans 8 it says that nothing can separate us from God’s love. Nothing, not death, life, angels, governments, powers, what we are going through today, nor future events, or things above or below can separate us from the love of God. God may set on his throne in heaven but His spirit is in heaven and earth.
2 Chronicles 20: 6 “Art thou not God in heaven, and rulest thou not over all the kingdoms of the heathen?” If God rules over all the kingdoms way is this world in such a mess? God at one time banned Satan from heaven and has allowed him to make earth his domain. Satan has been trying to remove God from the earth ever since. It is when people are following God that God is able to drive the evil of Satan form the land. The New testament puts it this way, If my people will humble themselves and pray to me, then I will hear from heaven and I will heal their land. What a great promise in the mist of a fallen world.
Psalms 33: 13-15 tells us that God looks done on man and sees what we are going through. The New Testament says that when we pray God knows our needs before we ask. God may know what we need but we need to acknowledge those needs to God. When He hears or prayers He will answer them.
The last thing I would like to mention in this line is that God is eternal and His holiness will last through eternity. He was before time started and his holiness and dominion will last when time is no more. The all knowing, ever present, all powerful God loves us so much that Jesus was sent to teach us about Him.
Having been the word of God that created all thing Jesus knew the glory of God full well and had been teaching his followers of this glory. When He taught the disciples to pray “who art in heaven” it was a reminder of the vastness of God’s glory. God is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. May the understanding that Jesus had of the father grow in us as we imitate Jesus.