OUR Father

(This is part 1 of the study on the Lord’s Prayer)

The most famous prayer in the world begins with the words, ‘Our Father’.

Those two words tell us so much. They also hide much that is not obvious at first sight.

For some the word ‘father’ raises immediate issues. We’ll come to that in the next post, but let us not skip over the first word.

The prayer is addressed to ‘Our father.

Not ‘my’ father – we are a community, a family.

This first word speaks volumes against the individualism of modern life, where it’s everyone for themselves. Survival of the fittest.

But that idea was quite foreign to the world in which this prayer was first taught. Even before that, when God spoke through Jeremiah, saying, ‘I know the plans I have for you, for good and not for harm’, it was to a community that he spoke, not an individual.

It was always about the forest. Never about a particular tree.

Community not individual.

The prophet Malachi asks a great question.

‘Do we not all have one Father ? Did not one God create us?’

Malachi 2:10

In Athens, St Paul told his foreign audience that they were children of the same God.

‘…we are God’s offspring…’

Acts 17:29

When writing to his friends in Ephesus, St Paul tells them that every family on earth is part of God’s family.

‘For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name.”

Ephesians 3:14-15

There’s no exclusivity in this prayer. It’s a prayer anyone can pray because God is Father to us all.

There’s no room for racism

or favouritism

or hatred

or superiority

or smugness

or lack of compassion,

because we are all from the same family.

In John’s vision of heaven in Revelation, he sees people of every nation, tribe, people and language worshipping God.

‘After this I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb.’

Revelation 7:9

When we come to pray the Lord’s Prayer, let us not miss the huge significance of the first word.

Our Father.

The first word points us to community. It implies that we are not alone but part of the human family. It challenges us to ask if we are playing our role within the family. Are we doing the things we are able to do to make life, in some way, better for our brothers and sisters, both far and near?

Are we asking for help from the family in times of our own personal need?

Are we confident of the love of the parent, to do good things, to grow and nurture us and our worldwide siblings?

Our Father.

Our Dad.







Giver of hugs.

Wiper of tears.


Our greatest fan.

As our Saviour has taught us, so we pray:

Our Father.