The Aramaic term for Father is Abba, a term of intimacy, belonging, connection, family, protection, and love. Since Jesus spoke Aramaic he would have used Abba when teaching his disciples this model prayer. As adoptive children, when we address God as “Father”, we proclaim our relationship with Him. And when we say “Our,” we have not come to Him alone but profess to be part of a community of faith, a spiritual family. This is good news! For with these two simple words we are called together with God and with others, drawn out of ourselves into a relational way of life. “Our Father” binds us together as family, just as the heart of God imagined long ago.
When Jesus taught all generations to come this transforming prayer, he desired us to meet the Father that lives in the heavens, both the seen and unseen. God our Father occupies the highest heaven where His throne remains but He is also present in the glorious skies above us and the very air we breathe. When we pray “Our Father who art in Heaven”, we declare His omnipresence, His virtual closeness to us. And that should be a comforting thought!
The opening line of the Lord’s prayer is meant to be more than a routinely recited remnant of our childhood spiritual formation. It is meant to comfort us. To connect us. And it is meant to delight our Father’s heart by proclaiming His plan has been completed.