Question 100: What doth the preface of the Lord's prayer teach us?
Answer: The preface of the Lord's prayer, which is, "Our Father which art in heaven," teacheth us to draw near to God with all holy reverence and confidence, as children to a father, able and ready to help us; and that we should pray with and for others.
When Jesus meet Mary Madeline in the garden, he said to her: “Go to My brethren and say to them, ‘I ascend to My Father and your Father, and My God and your God.’” (Jn. 20:17b) This indicates a change in covenant, for God’s covenant name in Israel was Yahweh or Jehovah, but we should understand God, not as the God who took us out of slavery in Egypt, but as a loving Father who elected us and Jesus Christ as a loving brother who died for us. Therefore, when you pray, pray to your Father who loves you, for he elected you before the foundation of the earth and adopted you as a son or daughter of God. However, we should not think of God as being like an earthly father, limited in power, limited in knowledge and having faults. Our heavenly Father is all powerful, all knowing and all good. He is above earthly things, for his throne is in heaven. The Westminster Puritans are correct to say that we should pray with and for others. We are not single children, but we are a family and a household with many many children.
Your Servant for Jesus’ Sake