“This, then, is how you should pray: “‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name…”’ (Matthew 6:9 NIV)
I grew up in a culture where it’s inappropriate to address an adult using his or her first name, unless you are invited to do so. I referred to others as “aunt,” “uncle,” “sir” or “madam” for a long time until I reached adulthood. Now I call others by their first name (unless they’re way older than me) not because I’m disrespectful, but because I find that it breaks the barrier between us and brings us closer together.
Jesus invited the people of His day – and us today – to address God as our Father because that’s how He approached Him. In fact, in the Gospel of John, Jesus calls God “Father” more so than in any other Gospel. The word itself suggests a close relationship between Him and God, and that’s the kind of relationship He would like us to have with God too. Calling God Father doesn’t mean that we cease to give Him the respect He deserves. After teaching us to pray, “Our Father in heaven,” Jesus added, “hallowed be your name,” calling us to regard Him as holy (Matthew 6:9). Referring to Him as our Father breaks all barriers and brings us closer to Him. Who wouldn’t want to get to know God that way? Jesus invites you to address God as Father, so go ahead and do it!
Jesus invites us to address Almighty God as our Father.