SCRIPTURE: ” In this manner, therefore, pray:
Our Father in heaven,
Hallowed be Your name. ( Mathew 6:9)
Focus : “Our Father in Heaven”.
Beloved, I am speaking as someone who is not perfect in any form and not worthy before the grace of God’s throne but yet inspired to speak God’s Word to you this morning in the name of Jesus, so help me O God. Amen.
And perhaps my preaching may not make sense to you, unless you allow yourself for the Holy Spirit to speak through you.
And in spite of my potential shortfalls, I will not by myself do anything to persuade you to pay particular attention, save for what I am inspired by the Holy Spirit to say to you. However, I will rely on St. Paul’s submission, that says, ” my speech and my preaching were not persuasive words of human wisdom, but in the demonstration of the Spirit and power that your faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God”. ( 1 Corinthians 2:4-5).Amen
I therefore pray for a personal touch on your life through the power of Jesus Christ. Amen.
Beloved, the prayer under the theme, “Our Father in Heaven” to me, is a personal one. In other words it was meant for the Disciples to communicate with God. And as time went by, it has become a universal prayer thereby charging every Christian to use to communicate with God. It is perhaps more like a crechè or should I say, a poem !
And so ignorant of so-called professing Christians, the assumption is that when they say such a prayer, they feel they have prayed divinely.
Sadly, I would like to draw your attention to the fact that having studied the bible on this very subject and verily inspired by God with some level of understanding, saying the Lord’s prayer with particular emphasis on, Our Father in Heaven”, does not necessarily guarantee your prayer heard by God or makes your prayer divine in anyway.
Instead, such prayer is meant for those who are the possessors of Grace, and are truly converted.
Well, one may wish to ask this question, “are all converted souls or born again believers in Christ; both dead and alive possessors of God’s Grace”? Well, I am not in the position to judge on this but God. He knows best and can identify who truly is the son or daughter of the possession of His Grace.
Another question that I feel in the spirit may trouble your heart at this moment is the fact that, ” are sinners prayers heard by God”? You see, the fact that God may heal you, give you the opportunity to become rich and or live long in life, is not a guarantee to a larger extent you being a possessor of His grace. He has enriched you for a purpose; perhaps to lead a community as a chief, a politician or even a wealthy entrepreneur to employ thousands of staff, or a Pastor to minister to congregation, but that does not mean you are a possessor of His grace.
Why? You may ask!
Beloved, if you say, ” Our Father in Heaven”, and deep in your heart you harbour sins, practice continuous sins and make room for the Devil to dwell, then you are a Mocker of this Divine Father Whom you claim to call your Father, and it explains that you are a possessor of two fathers.
This is because if indeed God is your Father, then where is His honour, where is His love ? Beloved, you neither honour nor love Him, and yet you presumptuously and blasphemously approach Him, and say, ” Our Father in Heaven”. For your heart is attached to sin and your life is opposed to the Word of God; proving yourself to be an heir of wrath, and not a child of Grace.
Beloved, my prayer today, as inspired by this sermon, under the theme, ” Our Father in Heaven”, is for the Holy Spirit to enable us, guide us and by our little efforts and prayers, leave off sacrilegiously employing these sacred words; until we can in sincerity of the heart and in truthfulness say, ” Our Father in Heaven” and in our lives, seek to honour God and His Holy Name, without offering the language of the hypocrite, which is an abomination.
And back to where we started, I doubt if indeed Christ meant this prayer to be used by His Disciples as a constant form of prayer ? I believe this prayer was meant as a model, whereby we are to fashion all our edification, and with great sincerity and earnestness, at certain times and seasons offer it to Him, with the hope that He will give ear to our request/s. To sum, it was meant to be used in certain times and season.
Therefore, being a model prayer, it does not mean that it must be misused or used by everyone and at everytime. I believe God will choose to hear such prayers from selected few who are obedient to His Word and are the chosen few vessels of His testaments.
Beloved, I also believe that this model of prayer is a chat, as it were, but I cannot chat with the Person on the Cross in the situation I find myself now, unless with full repentance. It is a map; but we are not travellers simply because we have passports. We may therefore use this form of prayer and yet be a total stranger to the great design of Christ in teaching this to you as believers.
And although through Jesus Christ Our Saviour, has made it known to us theough Paul in 2 Timothy 3: 16-17, in that, all Scripture is given by the inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness; equipped for every good work. Beloved , a little digression here is a contrast I find with the writings of 2 Timothy 3:16-17; an epistle to Timothy by Saint Paul immediately after he left Ephesus and the writings of John of Patmos near the coast of Asia Minor in Revelations 22:18-19, that also says ” For I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds to these things, God will add to him the plagues that are written in this book; [19 ] and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the Book of Life, from the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book”. This contrasting statements in the bible may require further investigations with the hope that the Holy Spirit may reveal the meanings to me for future dialogue with you, my congregation. Amen.
So, in line with our theme, ” Our Father in Heaven”, let us ask ourselves if indeed these inspiring words, ” profitable for doctrine” sits righteously in our hearts as at now ? May be few of us, or perhaps none as we tend to profess to be.
And if also these words are meant to equip us to work authentically and in completeness towards the Holiness of God, have we evaluated ourselves if indeed we are a testimony to the Father Whom we refer to for eternity ?
Let me make a confession here! In fact, I personally cannot use this prayer to the omission of other things that constitute the completeness of the teachings of God. Because as great as this prayer is, it does not express all I desire to say to my “Father in Heaven”, to Whom I adore and crave for total submission and surrender.
Beloved, without an iota of shame, I am reluctant to proudly offer this prayer to God because there are many sins which I must confess separately and distinctly, and the various other petitions to which this prayer contents require.
For it requires me to pour out my heart in the language which the Spirit gives me; and also I must trust in the Spirit to speak the unutterable groanings of my own spirit, when indeed my lips cannot actually Express all the emotions of my heart.
Beloved, this prayer, that points towards, ” Our Father”, should not be taken for granted; instead, we are to use it with boldness, as children coming to the Father at a time when we feel submitted and repented before His throne. And thereafter, we can tell forth our wants and our sorrows in the language which the Holy Spirit teaches us.
Now, on this day, being the Father’s Day, and in line with our Theme, ” Our Father”, there is indeed a sonship even as I see brotherhood with Jesus because of His Sonship position with God; for Jesus Himslef used a plural, ” Our “, and not My, hence Jesus becomes Our Brother in this instance.
Beloved, in this same Theme, I see a spirit of adoption, where Jesus Christ is known to be the Only begotten Son and we becoming the adopted children of God.
But I must admit that I am extremely puzzled and bewildered how easy it will be to explain to you, the phrase, ” the spirit of Adoption”, and most sincerely, to make you to understand what the Spirit of God is telling me. But I pray the Holy Spirit to charge you to a greater understanding. Amen.
To this, I am inspired to say that Christ is Our Adopted Father, and we are His adopted children bearing in mind the Oneness He possess with God, His Father. I hope this piece of elucidation is making some spiritual sense to you ? Otherwise, please keep hearing the Spirit of God in accordance to his own clarification and inspiration.
To me, it is a sweet compound of faith to know Christ to be my adopted Father; love that adores Him as my Father, joy that rejoices in Him as my Father, fear that trembles to disobey Him because He is My Father and a confident affection and truthfulness that relies upon Him, and cast itself holy upon Him, because it knows by the infallible witness of the Holy Spirit, that Jehovah, the God of earth and heaven, is the Father of my heart.
Beloved, the Spirit of adoption is the faith in Jesus expanding to the care of your life. I mean, by faith in Jesus, you see Him with you always in times of tribulations and shortfalls in life.
When the financial turmoil, social injustice, marital problems and other means becomes scares to us, we pray, Ah, ABBA, and submit to Him for comfort and solution.
And when the wind of troubles in the world is blowing and the waves of adversity are rising, and life circumstances on earth is reeling to the rock of the far reaching deep ocean, and to a point where you are sinking to death, how sweet then to say, ” Our Father in Heaven” and to believe that the Spirit of Adoption is at work to rebuke the violent wind and the stormy rough ocean with hurricane waves to calm them down and rescue you! ( Mathew 8:25-27)
Beloved, if Christ is our Father, then our own children also becomes our adopted children and not fathers in the strictest sense it the word. For we all refer to God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit as ” Our Father”, to Whom we are all ultimately accountable to.
Every child on earth, is by law accountable to the Government on the land. In other words, fathers do not own their children but Government, and therefore become carers, guardians and custodians until they reach a maturity age. That is the reason why that you cannot kill your child simply because she or he is disobedient to you or has become adamant in some way.
As an adopted father, you only have a limited time to call your child your own. Fathers, your children are all adopted children in the realm of spirituality and we are all children of the Oneness of God, Abba, Father, whom we shall all be accountable to one day in life here in earth and life after here on earth.
So we say, ” Thy will be done on earth and as it is in heaven” and not our will. Amen.
And as adopted children, the way you threat Your Father in Heaven, must somewhat reflect the way you treat your “father” on earth who is a custodian, guardian and a chosen vessel to bring you up yo become who you must be by Our Father in Heaven. For Paul’s commandment or his epistle to the church in Ephesians 6: 1-4, states, “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.  “Honor your father and mother,” which is the first commandment with promise: [3 ] “that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth.”[4 ] And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord. And I say, fathers, love and care for your children and children, love and honour your father. Amen.
As adopted sons and daughters of God, may God bring to us the wisdom and humility to honour Him. And may our faith and obedience in Him exemplify the true sonship. Further, may our love for ” Our Father” lead us to the cross of Christ, and help us to look for lost souls on the street to join us honour Jesus.
May the blood of Jesus Christ, that flowed from open wounds, accept our prayer even in the midst of our adversities. And we thank Jesus that we have the opportunity and indeed an honour to be one of the adopted child of God to serve Him with a sincere and or a contrite heart. Amen.
by REVEREND OBED DANQUAH
DATE: JUNE 16, 2019.
FATHER’S DAY SERMON
LOCATION: AT THE HOLY TEMPLE OF ENRICHING LIVES MINISTRIES, ELMINA, CENTRAL REGION OF GHANA.