Apr 14, 2015

Matthew 6:9: “Our Father”

Yesterday, I commented on the use of Lord's prayer. Today, I want to make a simpler but more profound point, or three. As many know, the Lord's Prayer is also called, Pater Noster (Latin) or "Our Father" based on the first words of this well-known prayer. But these words are significant not just because they are used as a title but also in what they communicate to God's people. At least four points can be noted.

The words "our Father" remind us that prayer is conversational. While there are aspects of prayer that are mysterious and sacred, at its root, prayer is talking to God. 

The word ”our” suggests that prayer is communal. Prayer is practiced when the church is gathered, that is when an “our” would be present.

The word "Father" teaches us that God is personal. Consider all the titles that the Lord could have used here (God, Master, Most Exalted, Omnipotent, etc.) but he uses the personal designation "Father."
The Title is quite significant and distinctive. God is referred to as “Father” about fourteen times in the entire Old Testament but Jesus addresses the Father more than sixty times in the Gospels.

The word "our" instructs us that the basis of the prayer is relational. Prayer is primarily for those who have a relationship with the Father through Jesus. This is not to deny that those outside the family of faith cannot pray or that God does not hear their prayers. But that the Lord's Prayer is for the Lord's people. It is for those who can rightly claim "Our Father."

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