Every word of this model prayer given by Jesus to His disciples is loaded. I love it!
He’s my father. He’s the father of the Jew and the Gentile, the rich and the poor, of all who have put their faith in Jesus Christ and been adopted as sons into His family.
Father means source. If you want to do a word study with your children, look up father in both Hebrew and Greek. I’ve heard that father means source, but I can’t find proof of that. (Please tell me in the comments, if you know where this comes from!)
As John Parsons, at hebrew4christians.com, says,
Before you can begin to pray as Jesus intended, you must settle the question of whether God is your Father, and you are His child. Nothing is more important. Are you a child of God? Are you part of his family, his mishpachah? Just as you were born physically into an earthly family, so Jesus said you must be reborn spiritually into a spiritual family (John 1:12, 3:3). This happens by faith — by believing that God loves you as a Father and cares for you as His child. (source)
If I am a child of the King, a member of His royal family, an heir to the promises, this has so many ramifications.
I must also remember what Hebrews 12:4-11 says:
In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. And you have forgotten that word of encouragement that addresses you as sons:
“My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline,
and do not lose heart when he rebukes you,
because the Lord disciplines those he loves,
and he punishes everyone he accepts as a son.”
Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as sons. For what son is not disciplined by his father? If you are not disciplined (and everyone undergoes discipline), then you are illegitimate children and not true sons. Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of our spirits and live! Our fathers disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in his holiness. No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it. (NIV)
I think we should also remember that we are to address our prayer to God the Father. I incorrectly taught my children to pray, “Dear Jesus…” Now I’m trying to change that to “Father…”
I’m also learning to do that personally. “Abba, Father.”
What a blessing to call such a great God my Father! May I take this seriously and bring all my requests and petitions to Him in faith, like a little child.