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“Our Father in heaven…” (Matthew 6:9)
God is a transcendent being who is infinitely other than all that we are, and yet he became flesh and dwelt among us in the person of Jesus, who was fully God and fully man. This is a mind-boggling mystery. But Christ no longer lives on earth. He has ascended into heaven to take his rightful place of glory with the Father. Our heavenly Father is the sovereign God of the universe. His power is unlimited, and his love is unrestricted. God created the universe out of nothing. The oceans are like a drop in the bucket to him. When we pray, we should be conscious that human limitations do not constrain the one who receives our petitions.
Heaven is the place from which God governs all things. It is a place where his will is obeyed immediately and joyfully. Angels, archangels, cherubim and seraphim worship him who is seated on the throne. He is a holy God.
Although we have easy access to our heavenly Father, we should not be flippant or too casual about approaching him. Sin will not be tolerated in his presence. So, we must confess our sins and be cleansed before we expect to be heard. The phrase, “in heaven” might seem to indicate that he is distant or aloof. But when it is taken together with the opening phrase of this prayer, “Our Father” it gives a sense of balance about how we ought to approach him; not casually but confidently. There is no greater authority than the authority of heaven. This holy and awesome God who dwells in regal majesty in heaven is slow to anger and abounding in love. As the hymn reminds us, he is, ‘slow to chide and swift to bless’. We have limited understanding and skills, but we have access to the unlimited power of our heavenly Father.
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