Once upon a time, Billy had the best dad. Billy’s dad valued his family more than his career. He leveraged those early years, the ones that pass so quickly, to shape his son with God’s love and give the boy a glimpse of God the Father—present, kind, forgiving, encouraging. Billy grew up loved, protected, and blessed by his dad.
What do you feel as you read about Billy’s father? I’m guessing something like, “Good for Billy.” Because stories about even the best fathers mean nothing to us when it’s his father or her father or their father. The only father that means much to us is our father.
Which is why I love Jesus’ prayer. He taught us to pray, “Our Father in heaven” (Matthew 6:9). That has to be the most beautiful possessive pronoun in the history of grammar! This ever-present, always-compassionate, relentlessly forgiving Father is our Father. We are his children. You are his dear daughter. You are his precious son.
Do you know what that means? If you tried to call up Warren Buffet and ask for money, he wouldn’t take your call. He’s not your father. But if you called to God in prayer and asked for anything in Jesus’ name—for endurance against cancer, for the ability to forgive your critics, for courage to share your faith—he would listen. He would give you his full attention. He would care. He would either give you exactly what you wanted or something even better. That’s the power of having our Father in heaven.