Jesus teaches his disciples a very simple but profound prayer.
Books have been written on the Lord’s prayer. Series of sermons have been preached on it. It is said in many churches (including our house churches) every week.
But seldom do we take time to meditate on the phrases or words of the prayer. We say it by rote. Which I think Jesus probably doesn’t like very much since it just becomes part of our “religion” and not part of our life.
It really is a revolutionary prayer from the get go. It encapsulates the essence of Jesus’ teaching. We would do well to take it seriously and begin to live it out.
He begins by saying, “Father,” or according to some manuscripts, “Our Father”. Addressing God as Father is revolutionary. It is radical. It hasn’t been done before. It designates an intimate, familial relationship with the God of the universe. How can this be?
I called my father “Daddy”. One of my sons calls me “pops”. One of my grandsons calls me “buppa”. These are terms of endearment. They are terms of love. They are terms that reflect intimate relationship.
Jesus is telling us that God is not “out there” but here. God is not a “distant other”, but concerned and present. God is not waiting “to bring the hammer down”, but is a Father who disciplines with love and purpose and always welcomes a conversation with his children. God is the parent who “always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”
We would do well today to take some time to meditate on this simple word of address to God.
“When you pray, say, ‘Father…'”