The names of God #14: Our Father
Scripture: Matthew 6:9
The name our Father appears as part of the preface to the Lord’s prayer—more accurately, the prayer He taught His disciples to pray. The prayer is a pattern of all prayer. Basic guidelines are given to which all prayer must conform. These are words that should be deeply engrained in the consciousness of the Christian.
Prayer begins with a right view of God. How are we to address Him? On what basis can on earth draw near to the One who is in Heaven?
I THIS NAME HIGHLIGHTS THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN GOD THE FATHER AND HIS PEOPLE.
- The Father. Some of the names of God focus on one or other of the Trinitarian Persons. This name specially fixes upon God the Father. It is an important aspect of the Christian’s understanding to have a clear Biblical view of the function of the Persons of the Godhead. Far too often generic views of ‘God’ are maintained without a clear understanding of how each Person works.
- He is the originator of saving grace and eternal life in the experience of the saved sinner. As such He becomes our Father, the source of the new birth. Cp 1Pet 1:2-3, 1Jn 3:1, 9, James 1:17-18. He effects this regeneration by His word and Spirit.
- The common relation of all who believe. There is a view of collective prayer and the family of God in these words. All saints share this common bond. True prayer is an activity common to all the family of God. Cp 1Cor 1:2.
II IT IS A NAME THAT ALSO UNDERSCORES OUR UNION WITH CHRIST.
- Spoken by Christ. The Saviour here speaks with His people. He appears as part of the pronoun our. As Mediator He joins us in our approach to God. Cp John 15:16, Eph 2:18.
- Our relation to God as His children is built on union with Christ. Cp Rom 8:17, Heb 2:10-12.
III THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THIS NAME IS VITAL TO PRAYER.
- The children of God are to pray. Here is our right of approach to God asserted at the beginning of this model prayer. On this basis we can approach God and pray as instructed in this pattern.
- A view of God as the source of all we need. The role of the father is to provide for his children.
- The confidence we can have in His beneficence. Cp Ps 103:13, Luke 11:13.