Matthew 6:9, “Our Father, who is in Heaven…” (own Greek translation).
What does this mean? Luther explains in his Small Catechism, “With these words God wants to entice us, so that we come to believe He is truly our Father and we are truly His children, in order that we may ask Him boldly and with complete confidence, just as loving children ask their loving father” (1). When Jesus taught His disciples how to pray, His first two words set the tone for the petitions that follow: “Our Father.” First, “our” is a communal language. Thus, Jesus encouraged prayer with likeminded company. Second, we approach God in prayer as Father, not Judge. Furthermore, we pray to God our Father with other children of God.
Unfortunately, this may be a difficult concept to grasp for those who have no relationship or a terrible relationship with their earthly father. God the Father is nothing like your father. Indeed, He is nothing like we who have good fathers. God is so far above and beyond what we imagine a good father to be. Indeed, it is ineffable. No amount of words I write here will be sufficient to describe the kind of Father my God is. Yet in the Lord’s Prayer we know Him to be a Father who chooses to: graciously give us His kingdom, bring about His good and gracious will in our lives, give us our daily needs, to forgive our sins, to keep His tests from us, and to deliver us from the evil one.