What I am going to say is so simple. A small child understands this. But for me with all of my supposed sophistication, it took me many years to get here.
It happened suddenly on the back porch early this morning where I spend time alone with God. I was asking him about how to pray. Frustrated with prayer lists, I gave them up a long time ago. They felt deadening, mechanical. At times, I even gave up praying for others because I sensed it was out of obligation, not out of passion. I was stuck, needing some personal coaching, a revelation. And then it happened this morning.
Daddy. It just arose someplace from a dark cellar in my heart. A place I have honestly never, ever prayed from my entire life. The word came with such tender emotion, a feeling of being 6 or 7 years old coming to my Father. It is a sense I have never really experienced, even though I have taught on it many years. I feel almost embarrassed to admit this, but it’s just the truth. It’s like a blind man knowing about color all his life and then one day having his eyes restored. I just saw. I just felt.
Daddy. I began to say it again. I began to feel the connection, the life as a son. I just sat in it, drank from it, bathed in it. I asked as a son for things in my life and then for the needs of those I love. It felt so different from the mechanical lists. I then tried to return to that same feeling throughout the rest the day.
Daddy. It may be the most precious word in the universe, the one word that can change the way we feel about everything. It is the one word that Jesus gave his life so that we could know. It is the one word that the Holy Spirit wants to teach us to say from our deepest depths. “Because you are sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, ‘Abba (Daddy), Father.'” (Gal. 4:6)
Daddy. I hope you are learning to say it also.