By addressing your prayers to your Father, you're reminded of His love every time you pray.
Read / Listen
Read Luke 11:5-13
Listen to passage & devotional:
Heidelberg Catechism Q&A 120
Q. Why did Christ command us
to call God “our Father”?
A. At the very beginning of our prayer
Christ wants to kindle in us
what is basic to our prayer—
the childlike awe and trust
that God through Christ has
become our Father.
Our fathers do not refuse us
the things of this life;
God our Father will even less
refuse to give us
what we ask in faith.
Jesus gives two examples of how, even as fallen, sinful people, we still have the ability to meet the needs of people around us.
The first one showcases the "shameless audacity (v8)" of the one doing the asking. Even though the need was real and significant, the fact that it was the middle of the night and the friend's tiny house was full of sleeping children shows the desperateness of situation. In their middle eastern culture, to not have any food to share with travelers - even ones who drop in without warning - would have made the entire village look bad. The persistence of the one who needed help overcame the friend's annoyance at being woken up at midnight and the need was met.
Jesus next appealed to the fathers listening to him. Even though we are evil, Jesus says, a father would never substitute something that would hurt his children when they asked for something nutritious.
The key words in this passage come at the very end of it: "How much more..." If even in our messed up world we still can count on people to meet our needs when we ask them, then "how much more will your Father in heaven give you the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!"
The reason it's so important for you to begin your prayers by acknowledging who God is, is that doing so tempers the rest of the prayer that follows. This is why it's especially important to follow the pattern Jesus set by opening your prayer to our Father in heaven. Doing so helps remind you that you're not just phoning a friend at an inopportune time who may be really annoyed by you, but rather that you're approaching your loving Father, who happens to also be the sovereign, omnipotent ruler of all things!
So don't be intimidated! Jesus tells you - commands you, even - to ask, seek, knock and find. Your Father will not leave you out in the cold, and He will not give you something that will hurt you when you've asked Him for something good.
This is not to say that your Father will give you everything you ask for. Like any loving father, He knows far better what His children actually need than what we do. But don't miss the guarantee that Jesus makes here: Our Father will always give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!
ACKNOWLEDGE WHO GOD IS: Our Father, who knows how to give good gifts to His children;
ALIGN YOUR LIFE WITH GOD'S WILL: Ask, seek, and knock so that you will receive, find, and have the door opened by your Father who loves you;
ASK GOD FOR WHAT YOU NEED:
Read the New Testament in a year, a chapter a day - 1 Thessalonians 1