Is He my daddy? If He is, then He will help me in the days of my infancy. He will teach me to walk spiritually, picking me up when I fall and directing my steps securely. That is why Hosea can report God as saying, "Yet it was I who taught Ephraim to walk. I took them up in my arms... I led them with cords of compassion, with the bands of love. ... I bent down to them and fed them... How can I give you up, O Ephraim! How can I hand you over, O Israel! (Hos. 11:3-4, 8). Surely such a God will keep me from falling and will present me faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy (Jude 24). 

There are not one but two families and fatherhoods in this world. There is the family of Adam into which all men are born. And there is the family of God into which some men are reborn by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. These latter were once children of darkness; they are now children of light (Eph. 5:8). They were dead in trespasses and sins; they are now alive in Christ (Eph. 2:1). They were once children of wrath and disobedience; they are now children of love, faith, and obedience (Eph. 2:2-3). These are God's children. And these and only these can come to God as their Father. 

Now you will have missed the point of all that I have been saying up to now if you have failed to notice that this first phrase of the Lord's Prayer, properly understood, cuts to pieces that false doctrine of the universal fatherhood of God that's been so popular in this century. According to the Bible God is most certainly not the father of all men. He is uniquely the Father of the Lord Jesus Christ. And He becomes the Father only of those men who believe on Christ and who are united to Him in faith through the Holy Spirit. 

The first words of the Lord's Prayer are an address to God as our heavenly Father. For Jesus said, "After this manner, therefore, pray ye: Our Father, who art in heaven." These words tell us who can pray and what the privileges of access are for them. 

One of the most important lessons that a Christian must learn in life is how to pray. We have already spoken about the meaning of prayer, and we have seen that prayer is talking with God. It is prayer to God the Father, on the basis of the death of the Lord Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Spirit. Now we want to see how we should talk with God, bearing in mind that God is for us both our heavenly Father and the holy, righteous God of the universe.