After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.
When we approach God in prayer, it’s not a stranger that we’re going to. It’s this more intimate relationship of going to our Father. He knows us. He created us, made us who we are, watched us be born and grow and live our lives. He was there every step of the way whether we recognized and acknowledged His presence or not. He’s engineered our circumstances. He’s provided and blessed us. He knows all about us, and we can know Him and know Him better by interacting with Him in prayer.
God cares about us like a parent with His child, but it’s so much deeper than that. It’s a much more powerful connection than we could ever have with anyone else because He’s not like anyone else. He is our holy Father, highly exalted above everyone else. And so when He corrects us, it’s to perfect us. When He challenges us, it’s to help us grow. When He blesses us so graciously with special gifts, it’s because His love is so infinite. When He comes so close, it’s because He delights in us. When He listens, it’s because He cares more than everyone else ever could.
He wants us to come to Him, though He knows our hearts and He knows our needs even before we come. He invites us to depend on His strength, to need Him and desire that fellowship. He wants us to look up to Him and honor Him. But then we can find our rest in Him, our shelter. We find help for our burdens and comfort in our sorrow. He’ll share His wisdom with us and guide us along as we continue to grow. He’ll pick us up when we fall, bring us back when we’ve strayed.
When Jesus gives us this model for prayer, the first thing He reminds us is that God is our Father, and Jesus modeled that Father/Son relationship as He interacted with His Father while He was here on Earth. So let us remember just who it is that we’re praying to and why we can come to Him so freely. He invites us in to talk about whatever we need to, to express our love and our praise and our needs or whatever may burden our hearts. It’s an opportunity to seek Him and find Him. It’s a conversation with someone we love and someone who loves us—a God who invites us to call Him Father.