We would do well to begin to see the Lord’s prayer as more than a rutualized form prayer to be prayed mechanically. Really what this model prayer is all about is seeing what is really important. Set in the Sermon on the Mount, this prayer is about living a kingdom life.
So we begin with the phrase, “Our father…”
In a world of brokenness we all need a father. Someone to love us, to protect us, to hold us. We are introduced to a whole new way to relate to God through these words of Jesus. No Jew dared called God Father, and now this carpenter from Nazareth is boldly addressing the Creator as Abba. Abba is an intimate family term, kind of like my daughter calling me daddy.
There is another aspect here I want to consider, because we can call God father, this means we are his children. We have a family and have also accumulated brothers and sisters. Calling God Father also tears down racial, ethnic, and national borders. You see God is the same Father to the villagers of rural Africa, to the persecuted Christians of China, to middle class, to the poor, to the rich. We are all equally in need of the same loving Father.
There is something else about calling God Father. We all at times have moments that we are not always the people we are called to be. We resemble the Prodigal way to often. We have those times when we mess up and think God wouldn’t take us back. We may even be willing to stop being his child, but he is not willing to stop being our father.