Summary: God is Dad! The Bible declares that the Father’s passionate rejoicing over His children echoes throughout the heavenlies.
How do people imagine God to be when they pray? Is He far from them or is He near? Is He powerful or passive? Is He disgusted with them or in love with them? Is He a mean old man, or a kindly grandpa-type, or neither? Is He listening? Does He care for them? Can He help them?
What a person believes about God is the most important thing contained in their mind. It affects everything about them. Specifically, what they believe about God affects the way they pray.
Unfortunately, there are many wrong perceptions of God commonly believed. These misconceptions distort our prayers and in some cases prevent people from praying all together. For too many people, God seems remote, impersonal, and unknowable. Because of that, even Christians suffer from an inability to feel forgiven, nagging doubt, and mistrust of God.
Our prayers are shaped by the way we picture God. A dysfunctional picture of God results in a dysfunctional way of praying and preaching. Jesus revealed this truth; "Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead?" asked Jesus. "Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him" (Luke 11:11-13).
Those that had a father who was never around when they needed him or have experienced trauma, abuse, or extreme discipline, will have a very difficult time preaching and personally pursuing an intimate, loving and trusting relationship with the heavenly Father. They will see God as a vengeful judge - spewing out wrath and retribution when sinners do by nature what they do best - sin! (That’s why we need a Savior!) Jesus forgave all sinners – in the past, present and future - on the Cross. It is up to every single human on this planet to accept the free gift of forgiveness through the shed blood of Jesus. When a person asks Him to become Lord of their life and repent of their sin and rejection of Him, they are reconciled back to God and can now begin experiencing intimate relationship with their Creator.
God is Dad! The Bible declares that the Father’s passionate rejoicing over His children echoes throughout the heavenlies. In Luke, Chapter 15, Jesus paints a wonderful picture of unbridled joy: "I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent."
The Father promises that He “will make an everlasting covenant with them: I will never stop doing good to them and I will inspire them to fear me, so that they will never turn away from me. I will rejoice in doing them good and will assuredly plant them in this land with all my heart and soul" (Jer 32, 40-41).
His Quiet Love
God is quietly contented in His love for every person on the planet. Someone once said that if God had a refrigerator our picture would be on it and if He had a wallet our photo would be in it. He longs for people to feel the peace of His presence, the beating of His heart next to theirs. “He will quiet you with his love". (Zeph 3:17 NIV).