I am so amazed, so overwhelmed at the mere thought that we, the mere handiwork of the infinite and wondrous God of creation, are able to call Him, “Father.” I am so impressed I could send out hundreds of messages on just that one subject!
Seriously, Jesus was placing His lead lesson on prayer down into family terms! He was teaching us to call our God, “our Father!” Wow! This was the identical name that He used! Think about His prayer in Gethsemane or His High Priestly prayer found in the seventeenth chapter of John’s Gospel. There, He used “Father” six times.
But wait a minute: Jesus was God’s Son by nature, the second person of the eternal Godhead. But we . . . we are simply God’s creatures. What right do we have to call Him Father? Isn’t that what the Psalmist was wondering?
When I look at your heavens,
the creation of your fingers,
the moon and the stars that you have set in place—
what is a mortal that you remember him
or the Son of Man that you take care of him?
Oh, but wait, he goes on to answer his own question:
You have made him a little lower than yourself.
You have crowned him with glory and honor.
You have made him rule what your hands created.
You have put everything under his control:
all the sheep and cattle, the wild animals,
the birds, the fish,
whatever swims in the currents of the seas.
O Yahweh, our Adonay, how majestic is your name throughout the earth!
Yep, when was teaching that we could call His Father, “Father,” he was elevating us from being mere creatures to being sons! Jesus’ point is not that all men are God’s children by nature, but those who are committed disciples have become adopted into His family through Grace! As Jesus explained:
The real light, which shines on everyone, was coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world came into existence through him. Yet, the world didn’t recognize him. He went to his own people, and his own people didn’t accept him.However, he gave the right to become God’s children to everyone who believed in him.These people didn’t become God’s children in a physical way—from a human impulse or from a husband’s desire to have a child. They were born from God (John 1:9-13)
As Paul explained, this was the purpose of the incarnation:
God sent His Son . . . so that we could receive adoption as sons” (Galatians 4:4, 5)
This praying to God as “Father” is only for disciples, believers in Jesus. No unbeliever has been given that offer. Now don’t be offended by that. The kids next door may have heard how wonderful I am, but they don’t have the right to refer to me as their dad!
But anyway, this should resolve one question I often hear: Jesus often told his disciples to pray in His Name and through Him; that is, looking to him as our way of access to the Father. So, why doesn’t He mention that is His model prayer? Well, the answer to that is right here; and it is quite implicit in saying, “Our Father.” Only those who look to Jesus as their Mediator and the one who bore their sins have the privilege of calling on Yahweh as “Father.” Jesus brought us into the family, we are now in the family and Yahweh is now, our Father! Wow! (Do I overuse that word?)
Let me explain this a little more. If we are going to pray and live as we are expected to, we have to grasp what having Yahweh as our Father implies.
First, as adopted children, we are loved no less than the one Yahweh called His “Beloved Son.” Oh, I realize that in some families the adopted children are treated differently than the natural children. I have read many tales of such abuse and neglect. But, you don’t have any such defect marring the Fatherhood of Yahweh!
This is as it was commanded in the OT. Anyone could join with and unite with the nation of Isra’el. Anyone! The only caveat was that they must obey Yahweh, swear their allegiance to Him, and renounce their former gods. Once they did that, they were considered equal in stature and being and responsibility of any natural born Israelite!
I don’t know about your situation, but this is the best news I have ever heard! Knowing that I was adopted into Yahweh’s covenants, is beyond comprehension, but it is true! This means, as Paul triumphantly declared, nothing “. . . in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:39). It means that our God will never forget us, or stop caring for us and that He remains our gentle, forgiving, and merciful Father even when we act like fools.
It means that, as one writer declared, he is, “always more ready to hear than we are to pray,” and is “wont to give more than either we desire or deserve.” Or as Jesus put it, “If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in Heaven give good things to those who ask him!”
Ooh boy! Once this idea of our God’s Fatherly love sinks in, it will give you boundless confidence not just in your prayers but in your daily life! It will revolutionize your relationship with Him, and is that the point of it?
The second thing to consider is that we are now, Yahweh’s heirs! As disciples of our Lord Jesus Christ, even though it may boggle our minds, we are joint heirs with Jesus of his Father’s Glory (Romans 8:18). John encouraged us by writing,
“The Father has given us his love. He loves us so much that we are actually called God’s dear children. And that’s what we are. . . . Dear friends, now we are God’s children. What we will be isn’t completely clear yet. We do know that when Christ appears we will be like him because we will see him as he is.. (I John 3:1, 3). Already “all (things) are yours” in the sense that they further your value here, and your glory hereafter, because “you are Christ’s. Boy, once you grab hold of that you will realize that you are richer and more privileged than any multi-millionaire in the word’s economy!
I could go on and on about this, but I most of all want you to realize that any time you go to your Father in prayer, you should be expressing faith in Christ, confidence in your Father’s love, experiencing joy in the Holy Spirit, and have a purpose of obedience and concern for those you are interceding for. This is when you will experience the peace that goes beyond understanding in your prayer life!
(I send out messages like this each morning in emails, and if you are interested in receiving them, send me your email address and I will add you—a to the list: Mail List)
I do thank you for your gifts. It is your faithful and continued support that makes these messages possible.