Jesus said when you pray say ‘Our Father…’
Thank God for the personal witness that he gives to each one of his children that we are indeed his children and entitled and enabled to say those amazing words ‘Abba, Father.’
Thank God too for personal prayer, that each one of us can come to God through Jesus Christ and through the Spirit personally pray, ‘Father…’
But there is more to it than that. Jesus taught us to pray ‘our Father.’ He’s not just my Father, he is your Father, he’s our Father. So in the prayer that Jesus teaches his disciples there is that calling to attention of one-another, of our brothers and sisters in Christ, of the Father’s family.
In a self-centred world then this prayer calls us to think about more than ourselves, to think also, and especially, about others. It’s not a you in your small corner and I in mine prayer. It’s not about a private faith but a shared one. It’s not about being in it on our own, but a shared life where we bear one another’s burdens, weeping with those who weep, rejoicing with those who rejoice.
To say ‘Our Father’ calls for the recognition and appreciation of our brothers and sisters in Christ. They have been given life by and share the same wonderful and glorious Father, they are part of the same family. They may be rich or poor, black or white, educated or uneducated, got a handle on life or struggling with it, introvert or extrovert, like pop (whatever that is these days) or classical music, etc.. Whoever they are, they are family, our brothers and sisters in Christ.
Let me ask you, do you appreciate your church, your family, everyone of them in all their great variety? A bigger question still is, are you joined to one, do you know the fellowship of true commitment?
Someone once said that ‘no man is an island,’ too true, but many try to live as if they are, even Christians. The prayer that Jesus taught us reminds then that we are called to live a shared life, to be a family sharing communion together with Father.