by Mike Ratliff
9 Οὕτως οὖν προσεύχεσθε ὑμεῖς· Πάτερ ἡμῶν ὁ ἐν τοῖς οὐρανοῖς· ἁγιασθήτω τὸ ὄνομά σου· (Matthew 6:9 NA27)
9 “You, therefore, pray in this way: ‘Our Father who is in heaven, let your name be hallowed, (Matthew 6:9 a personal translation of from the NA27 Greek Text.)
As one who desperately wants to stay on the narrow way, bearing my own cross as I follow my Lord each and every day, I have found that there are times when my circumstances seem to overwhelm me and there is anything but peace in my life as those very circumstances appear to be about to consume me or destroy me or something indeed horrible. It is as I am driven to prayer as per Hebrews 4:14-16:
 Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession.  For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.  Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. (Hebrews 4:14-16 ESV)
that my perspective is altered and what seemed such a large problem is seen in a completely different light. Do the issues or problems still exist? Yes they do, but when viewed from the perspective of a child who has come before his heavenly father who has properly prayed for him to reveal himself, his majesty, his power, his grace, his mercy, his love, et cetera to me in a way that brings him glory in and through me then I know that my temporal problems are nothing when it comes to eternity.
So, my circumstances are in his hands as are yours if he is your heavenly father. That means he uses them temporally to produce pressure in me for my eternal good. I don’t like that pressure. I want everything to go my way, but would I grow spiritually as a living sacrifice, one who walks humbly before his Lord as his servant if that was the case? No, I must come to understand what it means to be a branch that has been grafted into the True Vine who is Christ (John 15). The Vinedresser (The Father) prunes the branches that they produce much fruit. Unfruitful branches are cut away and burned. Those that are pruned are the those in the True Vine who do produce good fruit by his grace and that comes from abiding in Christ.
Is God the Father your Father who is in Heaven? If you are in Christ then he is for he is the giver of life, the God of the living because he is the living God. Those who are his children are spiritually alive in Christ. However, there are so many who claim the name of Christ or claim to worship or follow Jesus, but who do not know him or their Jesus is another Jesus. They are not children of the God who is heaven and we know this because they are spiritually dead and this is revealed in what they believe and confess.
My brethren are you in the fires of tribulation. Read Romans 8 and Hebrews 4:14-16 to start with. Forget this nonsense about redeeming our culture or making the United States or any other country a Christian culture or nation. This is a fallen world and Christians are those who have been called out from that to prepare them for eternity, to preach the gospel that God may use that to draw others into his Kingdom. In his timing, the Son will return for his people. I pray every day for the salvation of those I know and love who are outside of the grace of God. Do you? I also pray for the soon coming of our Lord. Let it be soon.
Soli Deo Gloria!