Prayer under the New Covenant is relational. Even Jesus before the establishment of the New Covenant, told us that we should begin our prayers (conversation) with ‘Our Father’. He never ever told us to pray to God, which would indicate a servant type of relationship of trying to please a master. Abba Father is please with us because we are his children and he is our Abba Father.

Father, the Greek word ‘patér’, goes beyond the sense that he is the progenitor of all people. For us it also expresses a relationship with a person who nourishes, protects and sustains us. As New Covenant believers it goes even deeper because under the New Covenant he has also become ‘Abba’. The word ‘abba’ creates a sense of unreasoning trust as a baby has towards its parent. The baby is unable to do anything else other than rely on the parent. It equates to us saying ‘daddy’. The word ‘abba’, in ancient times was only reserved for family and slaves or servants were forbidden to use it in addressing their master.

Being able to call our Father in heaven ‘Abba’ means that we are not servants trying to please a master but that we are children with the rights of one born into the family. The right to live there, partake in family activities and the right to be protected, nurtured and loved.

So when we talk to Abba Father, we use both words together. We say ‘Abba’ because we have unreasoning trust in Him to love and care for us. But we also add ‘Father’ because it expresses our intelligent understanding of his position as head of the home. It also recognizes him as our final authority, who knows what is right and always has our best interest at heart. Because he is our Abba Father we can talk to him, reason with him and even at times disagree with him. But ultimately it is Abba Father loving us to the extent that our very deep inner need is perfectly met.

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