Who is this God we pray to, and are we bothering him with our requests? Are we even doing it right? Are our prayers getting through? Does the Creator of the Universe really hear our requests, and if he does, does he really want to?

Scripture is filled with instructions on prayer. We are instructed to talk to God, and talk to him about everything, all the time. We’re told to use our normal language and not make it fussy or showy.

We’re reassured God hears those prayers and he answers fully and faithfully. James 5:6 says, “The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.”

You are that righteous person. Righteous because of one thing … your faith in Jesus. And your earnest prayer, meaning your sincere prayer instead of your check the box prayer, has great power!

Your sincere prayer, the one you pray, not out of obligation but out of relationship, produces wonderful results. Results that move mountains. Results that cause walls to crumble. Results that break chains. Results that part seas. Results that make the impossible possible.

Girl, you are really missing out if you’re not talking to God and building your relationship with him. I missed out for years!!!! For years I felt like it was some sort of obligation I was guilt tripped into. I would go through the motions and ramble off words I didn’t even mean out of habit. And those were my good days. Most days, I would just forget. I was missing out. Now, I don’t want you to miss out! My life has radically changed because of the power of sincere prayer, and I want to make sure you’re walking in that power too, my sister!

But, I still often wonder if I’m bothering God by talking to him about the same people over and over again. I question if he would prefer I ask once, then drop it. I remember when I was a teenager, I was limited to a 15 minute nightly phone call with my boyfriend. When the time was up, my Daddy would come walking down the hallway and say, “Sis, put the rest of it in a letter.” What did Daddy mean? He meant, time was up, end the conversation now!

Would God prefer I just wrap up my prayers quickly? You know, like a blanket prayer that covers everything in a few sentences, and be done with it. Is that what God wants?

Our answer is found in the first 2 words of Jesus teaching us to pray. Yes, the first 2 words. Jesus says in Matthew 6:9 “This, then, is how you should pray: Our Father …” Is there more? Absolutely. Maybe you can even recite it. But the answer to our question is right here. Does the Creator of the Universe really want to hear our prayer? YES! Are we bothering him? NO! Does he want us to cut it short, wrap it up, and cover it with a blanket? NO!

Here’s how we know. Jesus tells us to address God, the Creator of the Universe, the Almighty, the All-Knowing, the One we can never possibly understand, as “Our Father”. That of course is the translation of what Jesus actually said. It is believed Jesus originally spoke this prayer in Aramaic. It began with the word “Abun”. Later translated into Greek as “Abba”. The meaning is Father.

Not a distant God. Not a cosmic being who can’t be bothered by our earthly concerns. Not a distant high ruler. Not an angry gray haired man with a big stick. No, our Father. Abun is the Aramaic word a child would use for their Daddy. It represents relationship. It represents respect. It represents love, both loving and being loved.

And this is how Jesus himself told us we should pray. When you pray, pray like this, “Our Father.” The one who wants a relationship with me. The one who deserves my respect. The one whom I love and who loves me.

That is who we are talking to!

And because God actually WANTS to be referred to as our Father, we know for sure he WANTS us to talk to him. We are not a burden. We are not an obligation. We are his prized and precious children!

I remember teaching my little boy how to talk. The first time he said “Mama”, my whole world changed. He knew who I was! He was calling for me! To this day, that grown young man can call me and say “Mama”, and my heart skips a beat!

We adopted our daughters from an orphanage in Mexico when they were 4.5 and 6. For 9 months we visited them in the orphanage every weekend and we were not allowed to tell them we were adopting them. The day finally came when it was official and a translator told the girls they would be going home with us, they looked at me and said, “Mamasita.” My heart has never been more full. Yes, Mamasita. I am your Mama.

I’m just telling you now, the first time my cute little grandson Maverick calls me Granny, you will know about it! It will be a new highlight of my life. He knows me and he calls me his!!!!!

And to think, the Creator of the Universe wants us to call him Father. Abun. Abba. Out of love, out of respect, out of relationship. And he responds the same way we do when our children call us Mama. Our hearts overflow, and so does his! The Father knows you and he wants you to really know him and call him your own!

I’ve been listening to a man named Bill Lokey. At the time of his latest recording, he had been battling cancer for several years, continually given only weeks to live. And this man decided, if he was only going to live a very short time, he would actually LIVE! Little did I know, the recording I was listening to was just 2 weeks before what he referred to as “a step from the boat to the dock”. Yes, his final breath and step into eternity. I’m literally listening to a man in his final 2 weeks of life teach me how to truly LIVE.

I’m learning many things from Bill and his legacy, but the one thing that has impacted me most is an interaction he had with God during his private prayer time. He was in the car, and he began praying as he normally did, and God interrupted him and said, “I want you to call me Papa.” This man had followed Jesus for over 60 years, and he said in that moment, he experienced a whole new level of relationship with his Creator. He’s not just God. He’s not just the Maker of Heaven and Earth. He’s not just the God of all gods. He’s not just the Almighty. He is your Father, and he wants you to call him Papa.

Papa. Let that settle into your soul right now.

Papa. Feel that peace? Feel that connection? Feel that security?

He is here. He is available. And he wants nothing more than a life giving relationship with you. Yes, he is all the things that are far above all the other things. Yes, he is to be honored. Yes, he is to be respected. Yes, he is to praised. And yes, he is to be YOURS!

Your Father. Your Abun. Your Abba. Your Papa.

Will you spend time with this great big God of yours who’s heart absolutely overflows when you refer to him as your own, and ask him what he wants you to call him?

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