“This, then, is how you should pray: 'Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.’"
Did you notice that the prayer is addressed to the Father? Now don't take anything for granted here, the word "father" can easily be misunderstood in our time and culture. What I mean is that there are many today who think they are fathers simply because they have contributed a bit of genetic material which led to the birth of a child. They are right, in a simplistic sense, but not in the biblical sense. God is not "our Father" simply because He had a role in making us alive. The biblical term implies a relationship; a relationship that includes provision, protection, discipline, and above all of those, love. Jesus called the Father, Abba. And Paul writes that we too "received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, 'Abba, Father'" -- Rom. 8:15. Abba, Father is a name which implies mutual affection and the expectation of a warm reception. It conveys a sense of comfort and security and peace; it is calling God the Father "daddy." Did you ever think that when Jesus says "our Father" He is including us in His relationship with God the Father. So, when we cry out to God in times of need, or when we speak to Him in moments of joy; when we come boldly to his throne with either praise or petition we should have the certainty that we are coming to the lover of our souls.
Christian, I can't overemphasize what a privilege it is to call God Almighty, "Father." After all, it isn't true for everyone. It is only true for those who have been adopted into the household of God, and adoption only comes to those who live by faith in Jesus Christ. In Eph. 1:4-5 Paul wrote: ". . . In love he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will." And it is to the church in Corinth that God says: "I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty" (2 Cor. 6:18).
And so I'll end with 1 John 3:1 where the apostle marvels: "How great is the love the Father has lavished upon us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!"
--- Pastor Keith Andrews