“This, then, is how you should pray: “‘Our Father in heaven’” (Matthew 6:9a NIV)
In Christian theology, and therefore in Christian prayer, there is always a holding together of a tension about the person and character of God.
For Christians, God is both transcendent and imminent. That is to say, God is almighty and great and far above and beyond us (Psalm 24:10). And God is near to us, closer than breath, intimately connected to our everyday realities (Matthew 10:30). Transcendent and imminent. Beyond us and near us.
In the prayer that Jesus taught his disciples, the way we are taught to address God is significant.
Now we should never forget that we are praying to the Almighty God, Creator of the Universe. But Jesus teaches us to address this Almighty God with striking intimacy: “Our Father.”
Yes, God is great and mighty and beyond. And in this prayer, the One who is God drawing so near to us that he took on human flesh, bone, and blood and stepped into history–this One, Jesus, teaches us to address the great and mighty God as child speaks to parent. Remarkable.
Prayer: God, you are above and beyond. Your ways are not my ways, nor are your thoughts my thoughts. Thank you for inviting me to pray to you as a beloved child. Amen.