Game plan for prayer: worship our Heavenly Father

June 10, 2024
Featured image for “Game plan for prayer: worship our Heavenly Father”

by Shannon Caughey

When we pray, to whom are we praying? Are we coming to “the Big Man upstairs”—terminology often used by people in the sports world when referring to God? Are we attempting to get the attention of a God who is distant and always busy—like that big-time coach that you would love to consult but you’re hesitant to bother? Recognizing accurately the One to whom we are praying has a huge impact on why we pray, how we pray, and our motivation to pray.

This is key to growing in prayer, which is the focus of our current series of devotions. Jesus gives us a framework for prayer in Matthew 6:9-13. Often called the Lord’s Prayer, his intent is not that we have to use these exact words each time we pray. Rather, Jesus is pointing us to important areas that we then consistently apply to how we pray. We grow in prayer as we follow Jesus’ game plan for prayer.

Here’s how Jesus instructs us to address God (Matt. 6:9): “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name…” From this we learn at least three important truths about the One to whom we are praying:

1. We come in prayer to the God who loves us and welcomes us.

Jesus, the Son of God, enjoyed a deeply close and personal relationship with his Father in heaven. Christ invites his followers to likewise know God as “our Father,” the One who loves us and cares personally about us. Our Father draws near to us, welcomes our conversation with him, and deeply cares about every dimension of our lives and our world. This motivates us to come to God in prayer and to trust him with all that is on our minds and hearts.

2. We come in prayer to the God who is the sovereign ruler over all.

According to Jesus, we pray to our Father who is “in heaven.” This does not mean God is distant, far removed from what we encounter in this world. In the Bible, “heaven” is shorthand for God’s realm where his reign as King is fully realized. To come to our Father “in heaven” is to recognize that he is the sovereign ruler over all things, including what’s happening in our life and in our world. Through prayer, we acknowledge God as our King—the One to whom we gladly surrender. And we pray with confidence that our Father in heaven has the authority and power to do all he pleases

3. We come in prayer to the God who is awesome in his holiness.

Jesus directs us to pray this to our Father in heaven: “hallowed be your name.” This simply means, “May you be honored and treated according to who you are: the Most Holy God.” God’s holiness refers to how he is set apart in who he is and his character: completely “other” (different from us), righteous and pure. Our Heavenly Father is not merely “the Big Man upstairs.” He is awesome in his holiness, compelling us to come to him with genuine reverence. We pray with hearts of worship and with a desire to honor him with our attitudes, words, and actions.

Coach, growth in prayer starts with understanding more fully who God is. This is where Jesus begins in the game plan for prayer he gives us. God is your Father and your King, the One who is awesome and holy. He loves you, he cares about every detail of your life and coaching, and he is always worthy of your worship and trust. Knowing this impacts why and how you pray. 

For reflection: Spend some time praising God for being your Father and your King. Worship him as the Most Holy God, and express your desire to honor him with your life and coaching.



Before you purchase, give Illini Land FCA (217-480-7903) a call to see if we have any resources in stock we can give you!

Athlete's Bible

The Athlete's Bible
Buy Now

Coach's Bible

The Coach's Bible
Buy Now