Do you feel comfortable addressing God as “Father”? What memories or images does that title bring up? Did your relationship with your earthly father make it easier or harder for you to think of God as ‘Father’? And one more question: if so many have such imperfect memories and images from the word ‘father,’ why do you think God wants us to call Him by that title?
When Jesus taught the disciples how to pray He could have addressed God by any of a vast number of titles including God, Lord, Master, Jehovah, Righteous One, etc. Why “Father”? For one thing, it clearly implies that only those who are His children through faith can come to Him in this way. A child has access to their parent in a way other children do not, and that is true of us with our heavenly Father as well. So only true believers can pray this prayer. It is not for Buddhists, Hindus or Muslims. This is not a general prayer given for anyone to pray. It’s given to those who are God’s children by spiritual birth. Only we can pray this.
Another reason He wants us to call Him “Father” is that when we do we are recognizing He knows all about us and cares for what is best for us. Whatever a good father on earth should do for his children, that’s what God in heaven does for His. Only He does it totally, completely and perfectly.
A child has access to their parent whenever needed – no appointment, standing in line, doing something to qualify. That’s how it is with us and God as well. Even though He is running the universe and keeping everything going as He should, He is never too busy for us to come to Him.
Try to picture the perfect earthly father, one who always know, understand and care, one who was willing and able to do whatever was best for you in the long run, one loved you so much he couldn’t possibly love you and more and whose love was so deep that no matter what you did he wouldn’t love you any less. Wouldn’t it be great to have a father like that? You do, you know. He may not be your earthly father, but you have a Father in heaven who is that way. Won’t you let Him love you today? Will you put your total faith and trust in Him? Can you allow yourself to find comfort in His loving care? He wants to be your Father if you’ll let Him. Invite Him to be that in your life right now.
(Written by Jerry Schmoyer, 2014. You can find more of his writings at http://www.christiantrainingonline.org/. If you have questions or suggestions feel free to contact him at email@example.com)