“…When you pray, say: ‘Father…’”Luke 11:2
For many in prison, seeing God as a loving Daddy is a real stretch. Deep wounds left by earthly fathers make it a distant reality to view God as caring. Whether on the inside or on the outside of a prison cell, many of us know what it is like to be deeply hurt by a dad. With walls surrounding our hearts, we just can’t bring ourselves to address God as “Daddy.”
Yet when Jesus started one of His most desperate prayers, He said, “Abba, Father” (Mark 14:36). If others had listened in on that prayer, they would have found that word shocking in its familiarity and apparent lack of reverence. Jesus broke with tradition, however, and showed us in His moment of anxiety that God is indeed a loving Father. He knew that offering our prayers to God as our Abba would awaken in us a childlike trust.
Jesus said that if our earthly fathers, though sinful, give us good gifts, how much more will our Heavenly Father give us what we ask for in faith (Luke 11:13)? Your loving Daddy is waiting for you to come and know His heart of love.
“You’re a good, good Father,/ It’s who you are / and I’m loved by you/ it’s who I am” (Pat Barrett, Anthony Brown, 2014).