Our Father Considering community and unity.

“This, then, is how you should pray: “‘Our Father…” Matthew 6:9

It is intriguing that in the Lord’s prayer, Jesus instructed us as his disciples to address God as “Our Father,” not just “Father,” or “my Father.” Keep in mind that he has also just instructed us to go into our room alone when we pray so that we are unseen to all except our Father who “sees in secret” (vs 6). Of course, there is a time and place for praying with others, but whether with others or alone, by addressing God as “Our Father,” he is declaring that true prayer is always in community. What do we mean by this? In our individualistic society, this can be hard to understand.

Solitude and time alone are vital to our spiritual, mental, and emotional health in our distracted and over-stimulated world. Yet, solitude does not mean isolation. Thomas Merton wrote that contrary to the lie of individualism, we are not disconnected units, but rather, persons in the image of God. While each one of us is exquisitely unique with an unrepeatable story, essential to our humanity in the image of the Triune God is our connection to one another. Remember, in the creation story, the first thing that was “not good,” was a person being alone, and this was before humanity had sinned (Genesis 2:18). When we say, “Our Father,” we are declaring our interconnectedness as the Body of Christ.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote that “the one who cannot be alone cannot be in community; the one who cannot be in community cannot be truly alone.” If this is true of us as simply being human in this world, how much more is this true of our “new humanity in Christ” where every wall of division is broken down (Ephesians 2:15). When we say, “our Father,” we are declaring that despite all our differences in this increasingly polarized world, whether they are theological, ethnic, political, or preferential, there is “one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all…” (Ephesians 4:6). It is a reminder that like the high priest in the Old Testament (see Exodus 28), we as a community of priests never truly come into the holy of holies alone, but we come, bearing the names of God’s people on our hearts.

Action: When you are praying alone, practice taking some of your time to pray with first-person plural pronouns, that is, “we” and “us” in both praise and petition, and watch for how this impacts your posture in prayer and life.

Prayer: Our Father, thank you that you are the Father of us all, which means you are over us all, through us all, and in us all. Help us live more and more in the awareness of this each day.

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About the author

Profile photo for Gordie Lagore

Gordie Lagore

Lead Pastor and Spiritual Director

If the Vineyard movement was a place for "dried out Baptists and burned-out Pentecostals," the latter was certainly true for Gordie who grew up in a bi-vocational Pentecostal church planter's home in Alberta. After he experienced a call to preach through a significant God encounter as a teenager, he attended Melodyland School of Theology in Anaheim, California for a season. He returned to northern Alberta where he met and married his life partner, Kathleen Ross, a school teacher who was teaching on a Metis colony and involved in the Catholic Charismatic movement.

Sensing a call from God to begin all over again in East Vancouver, the Lagores moved back to Canada from England in 1991. Within a few months, they had connected with the newly planted Vancouver Vineyard, led by Joe and Charmain Kelder, who provided such a generous and gracious welcome. After five years, the Kelders commissioned the Lagores to be lead pastors of the renamed, Vancouver Eastside Vineyard (VEV).

During their 25 years as lead pastors with countless God stories of beauty amidst brokenness, the Lagores also served on the BC Regional Team for 16 years, including a season as Regional Team leaders, two years on the National Leadership Transition Team, followed by four years on the Vineyard Canada National Team.

The Lagores are currently working with their amazing leadership team on a process of transitioning from lead pastors over the next five years to "resident elders," with a focus on spiritual direction, mentoring, and grandparenting, while continuing to host international homestays and tending to their relationship with Lower Post!

Vancouver Eastside Vineyard Church (Vancouver, BC)

Series: Unity 2023

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