And he said to them, When you pray, say, Our Father which are in heaven, Hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done…
I believe that the word "Father" is applied to God seven times in the Old Testament; among the innumerable references to the Supreme Being which crowd almost every chapter of all the books of the Old Testament but one, He is mentioned just seven times as a Father — five times as the Father of the Hebrew people, twice as sustaining that relation to individuals. Of these two intimations that God is the Father of individual men, one is a promise to David that God will be a Father to his son Solomon; the other is a prediction that by and by men will pray to God calling Him Father — a prediction fulfilled in this prayer. For there is not any record of any prayer in the Old Testament in which God is addressed as Father. "In the vocative case, as an address to God in prayer," says Dean Mansel, the name of Father "does not occur in the Old Testament." It was, then, practically a new thought about God which our Saviour gave His disciples when He taught them about God. They had always known Him as the Eternal, the Creator, the Self-Existent One, the Supreme Ruler, the Judge, the Lord of Hosts and of Battles, the Captain of the armies of heaven; but this thought of Him as the Father in heaven was one that was very far from all their common thoughts of Him. This word took them into a new world. It was to them as if they had been standing for a long time before the grim outer wall of some old castle which they had been summoned to enter — standing there and looking doubtfully at the forbidding granite battlements, with cannon and sentries on the ramparts with suggestions of gloomy passages and dungeons and chains within — when all at once a little door opened, and they saw within the wall a pleasant garden, with flowers and fountains and cool retreats, and caught a breath of the sweetest odours, and heard a burst of melody from singing birds and happy children playing in the sun. Such an opening into the very heart of God did this word "Father" make for all who had stood for long in the cold shadow of the old monarchical conception of His character.
(Washington Gladden, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And he said unto them, When ye pray, say, Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth.