What father among you, if his son asks for a fish, will instead of a fish give him a serpent?
“The older I get, the smarter my father seems to get.” That’s what television journalist Tim Russert wrote about his dad in his book, “Big Russ and Me.” What Russert means is that, as the years go by, he grows in his appreciation of his father’s wisdom.
Jesus says, “When you pray, say: ‘Father’” (Luke 11:2). John marveled and said, “How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!” (1 John 3:1).
Sometimes it’s tempting to tell ourselves that we know better than Jesus how to address the situations that come up. Peter did. When the soldiers came to arrest Jesus, Peter drew his sword to prevent it. Jesus had to remind him, “Do you think I cannot call on my Father, and He will at once put at my disposal more than twelve legions of angels? But how then would the Scriptures be fulfilled that say it must happen in this way?” (Matt 26:54). Jesus reminded Peter of the Father’s wisdom. In love, God sent His Son to take our sins upon Himself and die in our place on the cross, not as a helpless victim, but as our loving Savior. In the same way, we entrust our prayers to “Our Father” with confidence, assured that He has the wisdom to know our needs best. As Luther reminds us in the Small Catechism, “With these words God tenderly invites us to believe that He is our true Father and that we are His true children, so that with all boldness and confidence we may ask Him as dear children ask their dear father.”
Heavenly Father, help us to grow in appreciation of Your love and Your wisdom as we come to You each day in prayer. Amen.
Rev. David Tannahill
Grace Lutheran Church, Vine Grove, KY