And he said unto them, When ye pray, say, Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. — Luke 11:2
Sometimes when you are talking to someone, you can easily see when they become disinterested or are tired of talking to you. You may be in the middle of your story, and they start looking the other way or looking at their cellphone. They may be present physically, but they really are not hearing what you are trying to say to them. It can be frustrating.
While I have experienced that a lot in my life, one person that has never treated me that way is my father. It does not matter the situation, he is always willing to listen and talk with me about a wide range of things. It may even be something that he has no idea what I am talking about, but he still takes time to listen and hear what I am saying. I know that not everyone is fortunate enough to have a father like that, but you can probably think of someone in your life that you have that type of relationship where they simply will listen no matter what. It’s a close relationship that allows that open communication.
I’ve learned after becoming a father myself the importance of just being there and listening. There are so many times that I have a million things to do, but my son simply wants me to listen to what he has to say. It may not be so important to me, but it is to him. It could be a new cartoon or a game he learned. Or perhaps a new word he learned to say. He just wants me to hear him and to listen.
That seems to be exactly what Jesus is describing here in Luke 11 to the disciples when he is trying to help them learn how to pray. He gave them the instruction that when they pray, they should immediately approach with the concept of “our Father.” While I know that He describes it as Father because of God the Father, but I also think it is symbolic of the relationship and the closeness that we should have with Him. It should not be someone that we only talk to occasionally, but someone we have such a close relationship with that we can talk to at any time about anything.
While God the Father is to be respected for who He is, as indicated in the “Hallowed be thy name” statement, we should have such a close relationship with Him that it is like we sat down with our father, or that close friend that we can talk to about anything. He wants us to talk to Him about anything and everything, not just when we are in the middle of trouble or a trial. He wants to hear from His children and to listen. It does not mean He will give us what we want, or change the situations of life we may be facing. It does mean that He will always be there for us and never leave us alone. He will always listen and He will always guide us through the other side.