"Our Father in Heaven"
by Heath Rogers

Prayer is an amazing privilege. It is the opportunity to have an audience with God. In prayer, we are not addressing an impersonal force or an unknown deity. We are expressing our thoughts, desires, problems, and praise to the Creator and Sustainer of the universe. How should we address such a One? What name or title would be appropriate?

Christians are children of God. Jesus encourages us to approach and address God as a child address his father, with all the rights and privileges that accompany such a relationship. Not everyone has the right to address God as their Father (John 1:12; Rom. 8:14-17). Everyone has been invited to become His child, but only those who have come to God through Christ can call Him "Father" and have the right to call upon Him in prayer.

As our Father, we can trust God to care about our needs (Matt. 6:8, 32) and to give us those things that will help us, not hurt us (Matt. 7:9-11).

God is omnipresent, meaning He is everywhere all the time (Ps. 139:7-12), but Jesus teaches us to address our prayers to our Father "in heaven." Heaven is the location of God's throne, the seat of His authority and power. "The Lord is in His holy temple, the Lord's throne is in heaven..." (Ps. 11:4). It is from this place that God "rules over all" and "does whatever He pleases" (Ps. 103:19; 115:3). In short, our prayers go straight to the "highest office."

"Our Father in heaven." What a perfect combination of intimacy and reverence. God is our loving Father who cares about our needs. He is also the Almighty Ruler who possesses the power to answer our prayers. As such, we can have great confidence in our prayers (Heb. 4:16).