Our adoption by God is the doorway into all true worship of God. All praise, prayer, and pleading to God begin with our adoption. This is what Christ won for us on the cross; it is the great goal of our justification and the end to which we were saved. John 1:12 says, “But to all who believed in his name, he gave the right to become the children of God.” Oh the privilege beyond the gate! God, in His abundant grace, chose not only to forgive rebel sinners and then leave them in that state, but He chose to forgive rebel sinners and make them into sons and daughters!
Before Jesus died on the cross, He left his followers with a model for prayer, and without any surprise (to us), instructed His followers to pray, “Our Father,” as they addressed God. This address has many different implications and I would like to draw attention to two of the pearls found here.
1.) Here we can see one great and precious thing about Jesus; He Himself is called the Son of God. In fact, He is called the only Son of God, and yet He would not be alone. He condescends to us, lives among us, suffers like us as a brother and dies for us! All that we might share in this great joy that has been His for eternity, namely that we might call God our Father and share in the joy and privilege of having God as Father. What a privilege it is to say together and along with Christ, “Our Father.”
2.) So what kind of Father is He? He is a good Father, for He is good. He does not need to reference the Bible to see what a good Father does, but He defines what it means to be good. Does He have vain goals for His children? No, He establishes them in a kingdom that will never falter. Does He really want to give to His children? Yes, in Luke’s gospel we see this beautiful promise: “Fear not, little flock, for it is the Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.” Is He too busy for His children? No, but delights to hear them and gives them every good thing according to Matthew 7:11. The list goes on endlessly. Is He trustworthy, faithful, gracious, righteous, always there, involved, able to do what He says, etc? To all these; a resounding yes!
He is a Father who loves it when His children find all they need in Him. As the Lord’s Prayer continues, we see that God will not hold back in taking care of His children. For if it is by grace that we were saved and brought from death to life, surely the one who gave us life will sustain it in us.
As we pray to our Father we are reminded that we can only say, “Our Father” because He said to us, “My son,” and we believed (1 John 4:19). When we trust in the blood offered up by Christ on our behalf, He takes on himself that which He never deserved, and we get what Christ always had. Christ, for eternity, has always enjoyed perfect communion with, and full enjoyment of God the Father. This belongs to all who are in Christ. We despised God and deserved nothing but His just wrath and judgment, yet Christ paid it all in our place. This should make our hearts leap more than all the treasures of this world, for when they all fade (which is certain), this treasure is still ours.
For many of us who have grown up in the church, these words, “Our Father,” can roll off of our tongues nearly empty and fail to draw up from within us the affections of our hearts due to our Father. But do not lose heart! By praying to our Father day by day, we are formed into His children, for in prayer we are reminded to whom we belong. And because He is the one who gave us prayer, He will also meet us there. So we come as we are, weary, needy, thirsty and meet Him because He alone has the power to change us, for He is our Father in heaven.