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When saying “Abba Father” feels uncomfortable

It is quite comfortable for most Believers to relate to Jesus as their Saviour and the Holy Spirit as Friend. Yet, when it comes to the Father, some of us may find it difficult to experience the same comfort. The word ‘father’ has bad connotations for some – whether it be feelings of never measuring up, feeling abandoned, abused or neglected. But there is hope! Learning to pray to God as a perfect loving Father, might just become one of the most healing experiences in your life, if you are willing to take a step in faith. The following are a few guidelines that may help in putting you on the path to relating more personally to God as your heavenly Father.

 

1. Face it
If you have, or in the past had an unpleasant relationship with your earthly father, the best thing you can do is to speak to God about it – often more than once. This is one Person you can pour out your heart to with confidence. Speak to Him as if He is with you. Tell Him exactly how you feel, the details about your grief, anger, doubt fear or other negative emotions. If it feels awkward to speak out loud, you can just write out your thoughts and prayer. Another option is to consider asking a trustworthy mature Christian friend to join you in doing this, by praying with you through father issues you may have.

Pray for:
* His help over you: “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” (Isaiah 41:10).

 

2. Search it out
Meditate, read and try to memorise some Scriptural truths about God as Father. There are many beautiful ones, but you may start with Psalm 10:14, 17:8, 27:10, 34:15-22 etc. Ask Him to reveal to you the true meaning of His affections towards you concerning e.g. tenderness, strength, trustworthiness and love. He promises to never leave us alone to fend for ourselves or try to figure things out on our own.

Pray for:
* His grace over you – “The LORD is gracious and righteous; our God is full of compassion.” (Psalm 116:5).

 

3. Seeking wisdom
There is wisdom in reading extensively on any subject you want to grow in spiritually. In this instance, consider reading books like The Father heart of God by Floyd McClung. Do not rush through this material. Ask God to reveal Himself to you and pray through each point. (You may also consider a healing course on this topic offered by Ellel Ministries)

Pray for:
* His compassion over you “The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love.” (Psalm 103:8).
* His faithfulness over you “The Lord’s loving kindnesses indeed never cease, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness.” (Lamentations 3:22-23).

 

4. What are you doing?
An important part of receiving healing and growing in your personal relationship with God as your Father, is to think upon the way you parent your own children, or how you would like to do it one day. How do/would you show them comfort in a meaningful way? How do/would you teach them new things or correct them? What does ‘protecting’ them mean to you in a practical way? What does ‘providing for your children’ mean to you? Take time to carefully answer all these and other questions the Holy Spirit brings to your mind and write down what He shows you. Apart from your own ideas, ask God to show you His heart regarding these questions too.

Pray for:
* His goodness over you “Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good. His love endures forever.” (Psalm 136:1).
* His righteousness over you “The LORD is righteous in all his ways and faithful in all he does.” (Psalm 145:17).

 

5. Be patient
Comfortably relating to God as your Father might take some time. Do not become discouraged after a week if you do not experience a breakthrough. Do not see this as something to accomplish or an ‘arrival’ point. Rather see it as a process of growing and deepening your relationship with God as your Father, for the rest of your life.

Pray for:
* His lovingkindness over you“See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!” (1 John 3:1).
* His kindness over you “So that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God.” (Ephesians 2:7-8).

 

6. Take a first step
At first it might require a big step of faith to believe some of the new things God reveals to you about His fatherhood. Be brave! Take Him at His Word and see what happens. God is a Father who gives good gifts to His children.

Pray for:
* Caring“Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?” (Matthew 6:26).
* Giving“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16).

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