God is near

Does it feel like God is far away? Flip open to Matthew 6:9: “Our Father in heaven…” Now think about this: ‘heaven’ isn’t something above and beyond the daily grind. In Jewish cosmology, ‘heaven’ isn’t the hereafter, it’s the atmosphere — ‘heaven’ here means the air we breathe.

When we pray, “Our Father in heaven”, we’re addressing a god closer than our own skins. When you feel so lonely that your heart’s just about crumbling, remember that God is literally right there with you. It makes you think about “Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven”, doesn’t it? Because in truth there is no separation. The only separation is us, and that’s something God is always ready and willing to fix. We only have to want it, too.

So why not take a breather from all that heartbreak? God is waiting with open arms, but you’re going to have to step into them. Here’s how:

“Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory, forever. Amen.”

— Matthew 6:9-13 (ESV).

(I’m much indebted to James Bryan Smith’s The Good and Beautiful God for the insight into ‘heaven’. I’m not usually a fan of religious books, but read it. You won’t regret it.)

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Related: a simple prayer to bring others to Jesus.

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