Our Father, who art in Heaven
As you know, another name for the Our Father is the Lord’s Prayer. It is called the Lord’s Prayer because Our Lord Jesus Christ himself thought it out and gave it to us to use. It happened that one day, after he had been praying, his disciples came to him and said, “Lord, teach us to pray…” and his reply was to give them the Our Father (NRSV, Luke 11:1-4).
Going to God
Of course, there are fathers and fathers. Some are good and some are bad. But when we say that God is our Father, we mean he is our good Father. So Jesus has taught us to look on him, not as a kind of stern head teacher to keep away from, but as our good Father whom we can go to at any time. All good things come from him (James 1:17), and we can always trust him to give us what is best for us to have. So we should never be afraid to go to him and ask him to give us what he knows is good for us, because that is what he is waiting for us to do.
Jesus was very anxious that we should fully understand this. One day he was talking to a group of people and he asked them, “Is there anyone among you who, if your child asks for bread, will give a stone?” Or if the child asks for a fish, will give a snake? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good things to those who ask him!” (NRSV, Matthew 7:9-11). So you may be absolutely sure that you can trust God completely to give you what is best for you to have. As St Paul said, “…all things work together for good for those who love God… (NRSV, Romans 8:28).