Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory, forever. Amen.
Presbyterian Hymnal (pg. 16)
The second thing we notice about this prayer is the intimacy with God Jesus promotes. We are instructed to call God our Father. In many instances, the relationship between a male parent and child has been formal and sometimes even distant. “Father” rather than being an endearing term was one that contributed to those feelings of fear and timidity, especially if the male parent was a very strict disciplinarian.
Yet the “Father” term Jesus uses here is better rendered “Daddy,” suggesting a very close and loving relationship. Rather than being removed from the child’s activities, a “Daddy” is engaged. The father cheers but also challenges his child. The father encourages and supports the child. The father counsels and teaches the child. The father can be his child’s friend, but he is always first and foremost a parent. He retains the parental role, but He recognizes love and respect are not jeopardized by interaction and even plays with the child. He knows that bonding occurs between the father and the child and over time this loving parent-child relationship may grow deeper and stronger.
Our Father, we are grateful that Jesus taught us to address You as “Our Father,” and reminds us that we are one child among Your many and that we have brothers and sisters in the Christian Family. Help us to appreciate the intimacy Jesus encourages and to claim it for ourselves. While human parents may fail us in one way or another, keep us mindful that You love us and want only the best for us. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.