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…
A particular persuasion of God's fatherly affection to ourselves is then especially requisite when we pray unto Him. We cannot in truth say unto Him, "Our Father" without such a persuasion. The benefits of that particular persuasion are great and manifold. For —
1. It distinguisheth the sound faith of true saints from the counterfeit faith of formal professors and trembling faith of devils. They may believe that God is a Father, but they cannot believe that God is their Father.
2. It maketh us more boldly to come to the throne of grace. "I will go to my Father."
3. It maketh us to rest upon God more confidently for provision for all things needful, and protection from all things hurtful. For this particular relation of God's fatherhood to us showeth that God taketh an especial care of us, to whom the promise of God's care especially belongeth.
4. It doth much uphold us in all distresses.
5. It strengtheneth our faith in all the properties and works of God.
6. It affordeth much comfort against our manifold infirmities.
7. All that can be said of God's fatherhood will bring no comfort to a man unless he can apply it to himself. Children do not go to a man for the things they want because he is a father of other children, but because he is their own father.
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.