By Arch Hoercher
In Matthew 6:9 Jesus is teaching the disciples how to pray. He begins by saying “Our Father”. The Greek word used here translated “Father” is “Abba”. Abba is the most informal address or name for Father used in the New Testament. A more correct translation would be the word “Daddy”. It is informal and gives a feeling of familiarity and easy access. That is exactly how God our Father wishes us to approach Him.
Matthew 18:3 (NIV): “And He (Jesus) said, ‘Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of Heaven.’” Matthew 19:14 (NIV): “Jesus said, ‘Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of Heaven belongs to such as these.’” Jesus is saying in these verses that the kingdom of Heaven belongs to those who trust and love God unconditionally. Little children have no guile and do not approach God with ulterior motives. An example of this trust and love is shown to me by my Grand Daughter Scarlett. When she would come and visit, the moment she saw me she would yell “Papa Arch” and come running to me, jumping into my arms and hugging me tight around my neck while patting my back with one hand. At that moment, there is nothing that I would not do for her.
That is exactly how God our Father (Daddy) wants us to come to Him. Excited and full of love and trust with no motive other than our love for Him. That is how God wishes us to communicate to Him (prayer). He wants us to come to Him as our Daddy with love and trust. Our prayers to Him should not be with hesitation or reservation or as if we are giving a speech before Congress. He wants us to come to Him without reservation and conversationally.
Prayer is not just the formal type prayers we may say when we get up in the morning or when we are at church. Prayer is conversation. God is with us every moment of every day. He hears our every word, if it is addressed to Him or not. We can talk to Him at any time. When we are driving our cars to work or when we are getting a coffee at Starbucks or when we are sitting on a beach admiring His handy work. He is with us always, even to the end of the world. We can speak to him when we say or do something we shouldn’t and ask Him to forgive us. We can ask Him a hundred times each day to help us be more like Jesus. We can talk to Him when we get behind the steering wheel of our cars to help us drive less aggressively. When we see the homeless person along side of the road we can say a quick prayer for God to bless that person. The point is we can talk to God at any time and for any reason throughout our day. We do not need necessarily to address Him formally, because He will know when we are talking to Him. And don’t forget to mention the name of Jesus, because it is with His authority that we go to God the Father in the first place.
God wants us to come to Him as little children full of love and trust. We can say the “pocket” prayer at any time – “Daddy, Forgive Me and help me and help others in Jesus’ name.” You can say this kind of prayer many times each day. The point is that God wants to hear from us. I am a child of God and He is my “Daddy”. I should go to Him as my granddaughter comes to me, with love and with no reservations or fear. She is not afraid to ask me for anything. And we should not be afraid to ask our heavenly Father for anything. God will answer, but as with our own children, the answer may be no. He wants to have a conversation. So don’t be afraid to talk to your “Daddy”.