What was the first thing I was conscious of when I became a member of the family of God? It was that my sins were forgiven. I had received pardon from God. The one who was now my Father had declared that I was forgiven. How did I know that was the case? Because he stated so in his Word.
Not that my name was mentioned there specifically. Even if my name had been mentioned, how would I know it was me that was described? After all, many others have shared my name, and if it was mentioned in the Bible, would I know for definite that it was me? It is far better to know that whosoever calls upon the name of the Lord will be saved.
Why were my sins forgiven? The answer is straightforward: because Jesus took my place on the cross. I had realised that because the Son of God became a man and went to the cross to pay the penalty for my sins I could be forgiven. That realisation was a tremendous discovery. Of course, millions of others have made the same discovery and found themselves in the family of God.
I also discovered that I wanted to talk to God about everything. It was not that I only spoke to him during times set aside to pray. Instead, I wanted to speak to him automatically, freely, as it were. This happened when I was walking along the road, sitting on a bus, reading a book. Those conversations, which were not oral, were not interruptions. Later on, I discovered that Paul thought it normal for Christians to pray without ceasing.
I think that we pray more often than we think we do. The Bible mentions all kinds of prayers and types of praying. But the Christian life, in one way or another, begins with prayer because we ask God to forgive us, and it continues by prayer.
This was a basic lesson to learn. Forgiveness and prayer go together. We can talk to God as our Heavenly Father because he has forgiven us for the sake of Jesus, his Son. It is inevitable that we will learn many other things about life in the family of God, but we should never move away from this incredible reality that we can speak to our Heavenly Father because we have been forgiven. Hopefully we are speaking to him now.