Prayer – Day 9

The Father as our dad

The word Jesus used for “father” was originally an Aramaic word abba which means “daddy” or “dad”. When we say the Our Father prayer we are speaking to God in a very intimate way, not as a distant figure but as a close and comfortable member of the family. It is this almost shocking intimacy that Jesus wants to get across to his disciples when he teaches them to pray.

The title “Father” signifies God’s role as the life-giver, the authority, and powerful protector, often viewed as omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent with infinite power and charity that goes beyond human understanding.

Yet, when Jesus uses the words “Our Father”, he is also saying something profound about our relationship to God. He says we are not slaves or servants whose role is only to obey their master for little reward.

When we pray the words “Our Father” we are also confirming that God is not just “my” father, but also the father of all. We cannot exclude anyone from God’s loving care; neither can we label some as “in” and others as “out” because we are all God’s children. It is for God in his infinite mercy to decide.