Matthew 6:9 “This, then, is how you should pray: Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name,”
Our Father– that’s how Jesus told his disciples to start their prayers. They had observed Jesus and His prayer life for many months. They had watched Him spend entire nights talking with His Father. They had watched as He looked beyond the clouds to His Father and were amazed when He received miraculous answers. Now, He was teaching them to talk to His Father and to call Him …
Our Father. It probably sounds hum-drum to you and me. But, to that bunch of fishermen, tax collectors, and political zealots tagging along wherever Jesus went, it was an incredible phrase. They were Jews. Observant Jews. Traditional Jews who grew up hearing about Almighty God. Jehovah. Yahweh (the name too sacred to whisper or even scratch onto a scroll) the LORD God. They learned as small children that He was the God of Might. The God Who Heals. The Self-Existent, All-Sufficient One. They knew God as Creator, King, and Righteous Judge. But…
Our Father? That was an unthinkable way to address the Almighty God. That is, it was unthinkable to everyone except His Son, Jesus. In these verses Jesus invited His followers to join Him in a child-to-parent relationship with God. To become part of His family. To come to the Great God of the universe not as subjects, but as sons and daughters.
Our Father. I imagine the phrase screeched like finger nails on slate to the religious leaders who despised Jesus. It was both a revolutionary and revolting concept to them that human beings could freely snuggle up close to God like children eager to steal their daddy’s kisses.
Our Father. His and ours. Jesus’ Father. Our Father. Abba. Daddy. Dad. Dada.
Our Father. He who is always eager to hear from us. And equally eager to whisper to our hearts how much He loves us and cares for us and longs for us to have a sit-on-His-lap relationship with Him.
Yes, He is the Almighty One. His name is holy. He is the eternal, omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent Creator and Sustainer of everything. And He invites you and me to be part of His family. To share the same table with Him. To pour out our tired and broken hearts to Him. To become the imperfect children of the only perfect Father.
Our Father. How can we have that kind of relationship with God? By accepting His Only Son as our Savior from our own sinfulness. Then, when we pray like Jesus prayed we can confidently say…
Dear Father, Thank You for calling me Your child.