It has been noted that prayer is not a “Let me tell you what I need for you to do, God.”
No. Prayer is relationship. Prayer is relationship where you listen as well as speak. It’s called sharing. You don’t have to be religious to enter into a relationship with God through prayer. When we “say a prayer” we are really saying “May you and I draw close together. Speak and I will listen. Knock and I will open the door of my heart and let you in.” It is my experience that God honors that desire for relationship because it is what God wants too. I am convinced of that.
Now, here is something for you. The prayer called the Lord’s Prayer starts out calling God “Father.”
“Our Father” Since Jesus taught this prayer, He is reminding us that God is His Father and ours. So that makes Jesus our brother. Well that’s cool. But, so what. Again, it goes back to relationship. While many of us have grown up without a father or have had a bad relationship with our father, the point still remains: God is like a good father. Keep in mind, God is not a person so the reference only goes so far. We do not know God or where God is. Truthfully, God is neither male nor female. Jesus is talking about relationship.
A good father cares. A good father does not dictate. A good father is there for you. A good father goes for a walk with you. A good father will hug you. Yes, these are my words, but I think they speak.
The point still remains. God, whom we cannot see is like an ideal parent. Jesus could have said “Our Mother who is in heaven.” You see, the point still remains. Approach God as someone who cares, who is not aloof or unapproachable. Within reason, if you have a better image of someone whom you can approach, who wants to enter relationship with you, go ahead and use that person’s name. We need to move away from gender. God is not made in our image. We are made in God’s image.
And the place called heaven. Sorry folks, but heaven is not “up there.” The Hubble telescope proves that. Wherever God is, God is. It is from wherever God is that God approaches us. We know that because in the person of Jesus, God lived in our space, experienced what we experience, completely and wholly as one of us.