The first word of the prayer taught by Jesus this day is the most important of them all: “Father”. God as our Father is not some flippant “daddy” approach that the some Christianised movements have reduced it to.The Greek word “pater” and the Hebrew word “abba” are indeed affectionate, but also very respectful.
That Jesus would recommend “Father” as the term of address is very significant. In the entire OT, “father” is only used for God fifteen times, none of them as an address in prayer. Yet, in the first three books of the NT, “father” is used 65 times for God, and over 100 times in the Gospel of John alone. Addressing God as “Father” is something very special for those who follow His Son Jesus Christ.
Although God is the same to OT believers as He is to those who believed after Jesus lived on this earth, there is a unique identity that believers since Jesus have simply because our faith is now very uniquely in terms of “Jesus Christ”. Romans 8:16-17 affirms that because of our common suffering with Christ and glorification with Christ, we are fellow-heirs with Christ, and therefore “children of God”. 1 John 3:2 affirms that because we will be made holy like Jesus at His coming, we are “God’s children”. When you are clothed with Christ’s righteousness, then God sees you and me as He sees His own beloved Son. We are children, He is our Father.
In simple terms, God does more good to His children than any earthly father could ever do. This is therefore without exception the singular most obvious reason to pray: You have a heavenly Father.
So pray, Christian pray!
Psalm 55:22 says: “Cast your burdens on the LORD, and He will sustain you!”
Psalm 62:8 says: “pour out your heart before him; God is a refuge for us”
1 Peter 5:7 says: “casting all you anxieties on him, because he cares for you.”
When you pray, recognise your heavenly Father.