Monday, January 25, 2016

Who art in heaven

The Lord's Prayer

Our Father who art in heaven.
hollowed be thy name,
thy kingdom come,
thy will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread,
and forgive us our trespasses
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
Lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.

For thine is the kingdom, the power,
and the glory, forever and ever.

Jesus in response to the disciples asking “teach us to pray” gave us this prayer. It is short and concise but it is pregnant with power, awe, and wonder. It has been broken down into 6 or 7 petitions depending on which tradition you study. I want to just simply comment on each phrase.

Who art in heaven

What does it mean to be in heaven? What does it mean to address someone who is in heaven? Why would Jesus make a point to teach us to pray this way?

Our Father in heaven transcends our earthly fathers. We all have earthly fathers. We don't all have a heavenly father. How does one obtain a Father in heaven? How does one become able to call God “Father”? Jesus told Nicodemus that he must be born again. Born of the spirit. Christians use the phrase “born again” to describe an experience with God. It is a profound paradigm shift. Christians who have had this experience are never the same and can appear really foolish. Values get turned upside down. Morals become more important than personal gain. From this new paradigm we pray “Who art in heaven”. We find a spiritual connection to the Creator that we didn't have before. We are filled with awe that the Creator would hear our prayers. He is in heaven, we are on earth. We lift our prayer to Him expecting to see His answers come from heaven to earth because we are now His children. We are now children of heaven.