Summary: This sermon examines the opening sentence of The Lord’s Prayer - "Our Father which art in heaven".
Jesus introduces The Lord’s Prayer with the words “After this manner therefore pray ye”. It is “houtôs oun” in the Greek, meaning “along these lines”. Jesus is not telling us that we must recite this prayer. He is simply giving us a model to follow.
“Our Father which art in heaven”.
1. SWEET UNITY
“Our”. The very first word speaks of unity.
Ephesians 4:3 “Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace”.
“My” isn’t found anywhere in the Lord’s prayer.
2. SPECIAL UNION
“Father” (Aramaic “Abba”, literally meaning “daddy”)
a) Other world religions do not enjoy this intimacy. They pray to a God who is cold and distant.
b) The devil was once our father - John 8:44.
c) God alone is to be called ‘father’ in a spiritual sense. Matthew 23:9 “And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven”. It is therefore wrong for Roman Catholic priests to be called ’father’.
d) Fathers care for their children, chastise their children and comfort their children. Our heavenly Father does the same.
3. SOMEWHERE UNIQUE
“which art in heaven”.
God is still on the throne. "Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth" (Revelation 19:6).
Heaven’s vast resources are available to those who pray.
Heaven is our home. "Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth" (Colossians 3:2).
“Abba, Father!” We approach Thee
In our Saviour’s precious Name;
We, Thy children, here assembled,
Now Thy promised blessing claim;
From our sins His blood hath washed us,
’Tis through Him our souls draw nigh,
And Thy Spirit, too, hath taught us,
“Abba, Father,” thus to cry.