Plenty Good Room in Our Father’s House
Before we begin today’s spiritual excursion, please take a few moments to breathe! Take three slow, deep breaths, expanding from your abdomen; try not to raise your shoulders. As you inhale, whisper, “You are our good… As you exhale, whisper, “…and loving Father.”
Slowly read aloud the following Scriptures
(Feel free to pause at any time during your reading to reflect on, thank, praise, or acknowledge God’s stirring in your thoughts and emotions.)
“Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened. You parents—if your children ask for a loaf of bread, do you give us a stone instead? Or if we ask for a fish, do you give us a snake? Of course not! So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask Him.” (Matthew 7:7-11, NLT)
“Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to Myself, that where I am you may be also. And you know the way to where I am going.” Thomas said to him, “Lord, we do not know where You are going. How can we know the way?” Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also. From now on you do know Him and have seen Him.” (John 14:1-7, ESV)
For further exploration:
Book: Epic of Eden, by Sandra Richter
Lecture #1: http://bit.do/RichterEoE1
Heavenly Father, we thank You for blessing the United States of America throughout the years. Thank You for surrounding our nation with Your favor, grace and mercy. Thank You for being our source, supply and hope. Thank You for entrusting us to pray for our leaders. Thank You for unifying our nation and for continuing to bless us. Your faithful love endures forever. Lord, Your majestic Name fills the earth. Your glory is higher than the heavens. May Your glorious Name be praised! May it be exalted above all blessing and praise! You alone are the Lord. You made the skies and the heavens and all the stars. You made the earth and the seas and everything in them. You preserve them all, and the angels of heaven worship You. We, Your children bless You!
Invincible Father, as Your people, we humble ourselves, pray and seek Your face. We believe that as we turn towards You, You will hear from heaven, forgive our sins, and heal our land. We are expecting Your eyes to open and Your ears to be attentive to our prayers. As a nation, we declare that we will live together in unity. We confess that as a nation we will be of one mind, we will sympathize with each other and love each other as brothers and sisters. We will be tenderhearted, keep a humble attitude and will not repay evil for evil or retaliate with insults when people insult us. Lord, Your Word admonishes that a city or house divided against itself will not stand. We declare that our political, civil, business and religious leaders will work together to bring peace and unity into our nation. We commit to praying for our political leaders and those that are in authority over us so that we can live peaceful and quiet lives marked by Godliness and dignity.
We are seeing and hearing a lot about division in our nation on the news. Find Scriptures about unity and begin to declare them over our city, state and nation:
Holy Spirit, we ask that You circumcise the hearts of the Christian members of Congress and use them as a catalyst for change. Help the Household of Faith to find ways to be the light in the midst of all the negativity and darkness in our nation. Please continue to heal the wounds that cases of injustice along with careless rhetoric from the media and politicians have created in our nation. Cast out the spirit of fear that has gripped the hearts and minds of so many Americans and help us to get back to being a nation of people who looked out for their neighbor.
Faithful Father, forgive our nation for its many sins. Forgive us for racism, sexism, ageism, idolatry, lying, deceit and character assassination. Forgive us for being self-serving, boastful, proud and arrogant. Forgive us for not acknowledging Your authority and for compromising Your truth. Forgive the Body of Christ for not praying more fervently about the situations in our nation. Forgive those who continually stir up confusion and strife. Lord, forgive me for (list any sins that you have committed).
Holy Spirit, remind us all of those we need to forgive and help us to be quick to forgive. As for me, Holy Spirit, bring to my remembrance those I need to forgive. (Take a moment and ask the Holy Spirit to reveal names or faces of people that you may need to forgive. As He reveals them say, “I forgive name of person(s).” Now, trust the Lord to heal any wounds in your soul caused by unforgiveness.)
Holy Spirit, as a nation, help us not to yield to temptation but deliver us from the evil one.
Victorious Lord, there is none like You. You are great and Your Name is full of power. Who would not fear You, O King of the nations? That title belongs to You, alone! Among all the wise people of the earth and in all the kingdoms of the world, there is no one like You. You are the King of glory. You are the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. You are worthy, Lord our God, to receive glory, honor and power. You created all things and they exist because You created what You pleased. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Scripture References for the Written Text – Psalm 86:15, Psalm 99:3, Revelation 4:11, Psalm 86:1, Mark 4:39, Amos 5:24, Matthew 6:13, Isaiah 48:12-13
Concepts to Consider
When Jesus addresses the Creating, Covenant God as “Our Father” in His Model Prayer and instructs His student-followers to do likewise, He is inviting us into a familial relationship we were not expecting. In the pool of ancient Jewish images, there is none more basic than the “bet ‘av” [bait-ahv] בית אב or “Father’s House.” It is the cultural location for safety, shelter, identity, inheritance, and provision. This enclosed compound traditionally featured a few two-story stone homes with flat roofs that accommodated the eldest married couple (which included the “father” or patriarch), our adult male children with our wives and children, servants, and domestic livestock.
The love and care that Jesus shows His frightened followers on the eve of His crucifixion in John’s Gospel is beautifully reassuring. He reminds us that we are not without a place, a home. We have rooms reserved for us in our Heavenly Father’s bet’av.
In the same way, Jesus calls us home. Through His death, burial, resurrection and ascension He has opened the “narrow gate” and made it possible for all the wandering sons of Adam and daughters of Eve to return to the “Father’s House,” if we will choose to turn around and step onto the road that leads to life. And where is this road? It is Jesus Himself. He is the pathway (John 14:6). He is the door (John 10:9). He is the Brother (Hebrews 2:11-12) and Son (John 3:16-17) that invites us to take up residence in “Our Father’s House.”
You see, everything is relational–not transactional– in the Divine Household. It’s about Who you know and Who knows you (Luke 13:22-29). You can’t buy, negotiate, cogitate, stumble or steal your way into the House. You must be born (again) into it (John 3:3).
a. Personal Reflection: Take some time today to meditate on the Biblical image (“visio” in week 2 guide) of you “arising and going home to your Heavenly Father.” And of the “Father seeing you, feeling love and compassion, and running to embrace you.” (Luke 15:20) What did you experience during this exercise?
b. Kingdom Reflection: As you observe the world and people around you, how can you help others see that we too are invited to have a place in the “Father’s House?”