12.1.7.2.1 "Our Father in heaven"

The form of address "Our Father" identifies this prayer as a communal prayer in which those praying profess to be children of God. In this fellowship, Jesus Christ is the "firstborn among many brethren" (Romans 8: 29). Whenever He prayed, He addressed God as Father (Luke 22: 42; 23: 46; John 11: 41; 17: 1).

The relationship between Jesus and His heavenly Father is unique. Since Christ taught human beings to pray to God as the "Father in heaven" He incorporated them into His relationship with the Father.

When human beings address God as their "Father", this alludes to the reality that God has created them, that He is their Lord, and that He provides for them. God is the source and sustainer of that which He has created. In love and trust, and without fear, human beings can address Him as "Father".

The words "in heaven" emphasise that God is exalted above all earthly existence. He–God, the Father–is greater and higher than everything, and yet, in His omnipresence, He is close to us human beings (Psalm 139; Acts 17: 27).

See also