What the Lord's Prayer Reveals about God as Father

A Father's Day reflection on the goodness of God as your heavenly Father.

Person praying with open hands in lap.
Photo by Jeremy Yap / Unsplash

When you think of your dad, I'm sure a mix of emotions swells over you: warmth, the messy garage, jokes, and hard work. Or, your relationship with your dad may have been full of distance or discord.

To be honest, no dad is perfect. We've all made mistakes, and we can never measure up to the stature, faithfulness, and love of God. And that's a good thing. It means we all have room to point to God, our Father. So, in honor of Father's Day yesterday, I wanted to offer a reflection on the Lord's Prayer. It reveals much about God as your heavenly Father.

1. He Sees You and Knows Your Need

Before the famous "Hallowed be thy name," Jesus opened His teaching on prayer like this:

But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you. “And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.
(Matthew 6:6–8)

First, God is every-present in your life and enjoys your company. You don't need a subscription, special access, or VIP package to meet with God. He's there whenever you approach Him in prayer.

But why does Jesus priortize praying 'in secret'? He doesn't mean to only pray along (which wouldn't make sense since, as you'll see, the Lord's Prayer is a communal one). Rather, Jesus emphasizes to seek God as your focus rather than seeking attention or self-glory.

Do you feel nervous about prayer? Does it feel too lofty for you? Have no fear. Jesus shows us that God already knows what you need before you pray to Him. Plus, you do not need to know special prayer templates or liturgies to talk with God. Nor do you need to speak in a special prayer language or repeat encantations to get God's attnetion. He's there and knows your heart already.

2. He's Got it Under Control

The Lord's Prayer begins with two interesting things:

  1. The first-person plural "We."
  2. The holiness and goodness of God.
“Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name.
Your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
(Matthew 6:9-10)

We often struggle under our own power. We wait until the last minute to ask for help. But Jesus teaches us to pray together and to pray to our holy Father in each circumstance. In short, God has all things under His control. Praying for His "kingdom come" is praying for His will in your life and the world around you.

This prayer also reminds us that one day His kingdom will come in its fullness when Jesus returns. At that time, we'll see the healing and restoration of all things — talk about a powerful starter to a prayer!

3. He is Your Contentment

Give us this day our daily bread,
(Matthew 6:11)

Jesus's "daily bread" image here should remind you of an older story in the Scriptures. The time when God sustained Israel for 40 years in the desert with miraculous manna and quail.

The Lord's Prayer is a prayer of joyful dependence on the Father. This is important. You never know what each day will bring you, but the Father knows your needs and will meet them each day.

This prayer also fights anxiety. Worrying about the future often fuels anxiety. But Jesus models contentment and trust instead.

4. He Reconciles

and forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
(Matthew 6:12–13)

God is also intersted in your spiritual well-being. Through Jesus, He has provided ultimate forgiveness. Thus, you're called to forgive others as He has forgiven you. This means your heavenly Father has met your deepest need: reconciliation with Him. He also calls you to live a life of reconciling with others.

5. He is "Abba"

Before His betrayal, Jesus opened His heart to the Father. Jesus knew what He had to face...the pain, suffering, and loss. And in that prayer of desperation, Jesus called God the Father Abba. It's an intimate term, like calling God "Dad."And it's the same familial term Jesus used for the Father in the Lord's Prayer.

God loves you.
He sees you.
He meets your needs.
He restores you.
He wants you to pray to Him from the heart.
And you're part of His story to help bring His kingdom on earth as it is in heaven.

May this bring comfort to you this Father's Day.

🔥 Bonus Sauce

Check out this first in a series on the Lord's Prayer!