Third in The Lord's Prayer Series, "The best prayer to pray in times of stress"
Father. The word may comfort or it may offend. If a person had none, then relating to God as one is hard, and yet very special since he is the only Father they will ever know.
God states he is the Father of the fatherless. (Ps 68:5) He who made the heart understands its deep need of a father, and promises to be our Father: When my father and my mother forsake me, then the LORD will take me up. (Ps 27:10)
For those who call him Father, he will not tolerate greater loyalty to another: "For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. And a man's foes [shall be] they of his own household." (Mat 10:35-36)
Nonetheless, he commands respect for the father: Honor your father and your mother; Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. (Eph 6:1)
But how can a son respect an alcoholic father? How can a daughter honor a mother who deserted her? God understands. Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee. (Isa 49:15)
Parents disappoint but God, never. We can ask Him how to honor our parents; He will provide answers to deep mysteries that set us in a maze of doubts, and shepherd us to the end.
A more difficult challenge: "He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me." (Mat 10:37-38) We must have much, much greater love, respect, adoration and obedience for our heavenly Father than for any earthly one. If we know Christ, it wil not be hard.
Christ said to Thomas: "I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him" — Philip then said to him, "Lord, shew us the Father, and it sufficeth us." Jesus replied, "Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? He that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou [then], Shew us the Father? Believe me that I [am] in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works' sake." (John 14:6-10)
The disciples had times of great stress, and stress causes us to forget what we know to be true. We lose our bearings. North? Where is it? East? Which way? Christ? Where is he? Who is he? Know this: Christ was and is "the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace." (Isa 9:6b)