14 For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. 15 The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” – Romans 8:14-15
Dear Heavenly Father…
I grew up being taught to start each prayer by saying, “Dear Heavenly Father.” It is completely engrained into my brain. Whether praying with my kids each night or praying grace for a meal, it is how I start. I don’t really think about what it means or why I do it; it’s just what I say.
Sunday, coming home from church, my wife and I were talking to our girls about what they talked about during their classes. One of their classes was going through how to pray, and they discussed about the importance of addressing God as our Father. They said it refers to God’s closeness to us because by addressing Him as Father we mentally make the association of God being close like a father.
Should I Call God, Father?
As we discussed it on the way home, we realized that none of us call our father, Father. We either call them Dad or Daddy. Father is just the term that we use to reference God. For us, it doesn’t represent closeness or relationship; it only represents a name for God.
I heard it said once that God is Abba, but He is still our Father. This preacher was discouraging the use of Dad or Daddy because in his opinion it took away our reverence for God. I didn’t have kids at the time, so I just took it as truth.
What Should We Call God?
Now, as a dad, I wouldn’t want my daughters to call me, Father. It’s not the name I have developed with my girls. There is no intimacy in that phrase in our family. Dad represents that they know their place in our family. They know they can come to me, ask questions of me, get my attention, and be sure to find my love.
I don’t know the best word that would represent that to you, but maybe it is not the one you are currently using. When Jesus went to the cross, He removed every barrier that hindered our access to God. He is truly our Father and our Dad. He loves us with every fiber in Him and will never reject us.
For me I will start to experiment with calling Him, Dad. What is something you want to start calling Him?
Kevin Shorter is the founder of this prayer-coach site and have served for several years in ministry and churches teaching on a variety of Biblical topics. Go to the contact page to request him to speak at your conferences and seminars.