Our Father in Heaven…

By Not Known

The terms in which we address our, emails and conversations are all-important for setting the tone for the message that follows. Too informal a tone may mean that we are not taken seriously. Too formal a tone may produce a frosty reception and stilted response.

The opening words of the Lord ‘s Prayer set the pace for our messages to the Lord. Let’s consider each word carefully. ..

Our Father in heaven:
The Lord’s Prayer, like all prayer, arises from a relationship with God. Unbelievers have no right to pray to the Lord at all, let alone to address him as Father. But those who believe in God’s Son Jesus have the right to become God’s children (Jn l: l2). We can address him as our Father, because he is.

Our Father in heaven :
It is remarkable to call God our Father when we have all been such prodigal children, spurning his grace and presuming on his goodness. The language of God’s fatherhood echoes the belief that we owe both our physical and spiritual life to him (Gen l: 26; Jn 3:3-6). Like any father he is attentive to his children’s needs and desires, only he gives with perfect wisdom, ability and timing (Mat 7:7-ll). This is a great encouragement to prayer for it speaks of his willingness to give.

Our Father in heaven:
The Lord to whom we pray is not some localised and earth-bound deity, but the one who created the heavens and the earth and who is Lord over them (Job 38-4l). He sees, knows and rules all. This also is an encouragement to prayer as it speaks of God’s ability to give.

Put together this phrase is a great enticement to prayer. We approach our heavenly Father who is both wiling and able to hear and answer prayer.

However, even as we rightly call God ‘father’ let us never forget to whom we speak. Many years ago I was an office junior with open access to my CEO’s office and an invitation to call him by his first name. But, however often I did so; I was never to forget who he was and who l was. Likewise, let us remember that the Lord is God and we are not. So, let us pray to Our father who is in heaven …