“The knowledge of God’s Father-love is the first and simplest, but also the last and highest lesson in the school of prayer.” (Andrew Murray)
Old Testament Saints NEVER referred to God as Father. In fact God was so feared that they didn’t dare to utter His name. In Old Testament times, God was refereed to by his character: Mighty Creator, God Almighty, The Lord who Heals, The Lord is Peace, to name a few. “Though the Old Testament provides many rich names and titles for God, the New Testament reveals him most fully. Jesus, in fact, shocked and offended the religious leaders of his day by claiming that he had a Father/Son relationship with the God whose name they feared even to pronounce. Furthermore, by inviting his followers to call God “Father,” he made this the primary name by which God is to be known to his followers.” (Spangler, 2004)
Through Jesus Christ, we have the privilege to, not only call God father, but to be adopted into His family as sons and daughters. When we pray, “Our Father” we acknowledge God’s love for us as His children. We should also acknowledge that God is not an average earthly father, he is omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent. He has all power, He is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Through Christ, the most powerful being in the universe has adopted us into his family and is working on our behalf. He is our dad! He loves us and is working for our good.
In Romans, Paul writes, “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” (Romans 8:28, NASB) In Matthew, Jesus said, “If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!” (Matthew 7:11, NIV)
Like a child, looking to his father to meet all of his needs, we pray to Our Father, acknowledging His position as provider and acknowledging that He not only can, but desires to take care of us. (Phil. 4:19)
(It may be difficult in our society, with the rising number of single mothers and unengaged dads, to comprehend the concept of a loving and caring father. But the Bible describes God’s character and in doing so he is the ultimate role model for earthly fathers. In Psalms 68, He is called Father to the Fatherless. Even when earthly fathers fail us, let God be the ultimate example of what Father-love should look like.)
NIV & NASB Bibles used.
Spangler, Ann. Praying the Names of God. Grand Rapids, Zondervan, 2004. Accessed 25 Feb. 2018.