“And if you call on the Father, who without partiality judges according to each one’s work, conduct yourselves throughout the time of your stay here in fear.”
And if you call on the Father
Peter further develops the personal relationship of verse 16 in this phrase. The Holy Spirit does not base the appeal of verse 16 “Be you holy” – on duty but on relationship. We are holy because our Father is holy. We appeal to God as a child to a parent.
The word “if” assumes that Christians will call on the Father. The “if” in the Greek indicates the reality of their prayer life. The Greek does not suggest an hypothetical but assumes they do in fact pray. If they do, they will live their sojourn here in awe of God. “Call” is a synonym for prayer.
We should address our prayer to the “Father.” We approach the Father through the Son (John 14:13,14) in the power of the Spirit (Ephesians 6:18). Jesus makes intercession to the Father for us in Hebrews 7:25,
Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.”
The Holy Spirit makes intercession for us (Romans 8:26,27).
“Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God.”
Because the Son intercedes and the Spirit intercedes for us, we should address all prayer to the Father (Matthew 6:6,9).
Prayer is a relationship with the Father based on grace.
Some people say, “I can’t understand why my prayers are not answered. I have not done anything wrong.” That, however, has nothing to do with it. Puffing up what we have done for God does not twist His arm to answer prayer.
Many of us have the idea that God answers prayer because we are good, moral or upright. Just because we may impress people, this does not mean that God is impressed with us.
God, however, does respect His Son. Prayer is a privilege of grace. The reason God hears us is because of His own character. God loves without respect. God respects our prayer solely because of Christ.
“Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need,” (Hebrews 4:16).