In teaching us how to prayer, Jesus begins with a most stunning instruction—address the intended Audience of your prayers as “our Father, the heavens’ One” (literal translation).
This is the first and most fundamental fact to be learned about prayer: You are not addressing a foe; you are addressing the One who by the riches of His grace, mercy, and wisdom made it possible for you to become part of his family, a legal heir of His eternal estate.
He is not exclusively your Father. There is an equality of access and opportunity found in the phrase “our Father”. Though staggering to contemplate, how wondrous it is to realize that you have the same Audience for your prayers that Abraham, Isaac, Joseph, Moses, David, and Jesus had.
God has no stepchildren. He has no illegitimate sons. We have a common salvation (Jude 3) and each of us has equal access to our Father, the One who hears prayer (Psalm 65:2).
Our God is no puny deity. He is not a local legend who exercises authority over a tiny portion of earth’s geography. Our Father resides and rules from the heavens.
One visitor to His palatial dwelling described its locale as “the third heaven” (2 Corinthians 12:2). Far beyond the first heaven (i.e. earth’s atmosphere where birds fly) and far beyond the second heaven (i.e. the unfathomable reaches of space where planets, stars, galaxies, and black holes are found) there is the third heaven. It is here that the holy Sovereign exercises His authority over every created thing.
It is here we bring our frailties, limitations, fears, and needs and cast all our burdens (1 Peter 5:7).
How wondrous are the words: “Our Father which art in heaven”!