We were sitting around the dinner table a few weeks ago, and my two-year-old leaned over with a real serious look on his face and asked, “You name is Zach?”
“Yes, son,” I said, “but you call me Daddy.”
He sat there for a second with his nose all scrunched up—thinking really hard. Then shook his head and said again, “You name is Zach?”
I could tell he was having a hard time with this. He had only ever called me Daddy. How could I have any other identity, any other name, than the one he had always known?
I said, “Buddy, listen, my friends call me Zach, people who don’t know me call me Zach, but my children call me Daddy. Only my children can call me Daddy. And that’s what I want you to call me.”
You see, Daddy is a holy name—it’s set apart—reserved for the children.
When Jesus was teaching His disciples how to pray, he said they should address God this way: “Our Father who is in heaven.” Here, the Greek word for father is used—pater. But often when Jesus speaks with His Father, He uses both the Greek pater and the Aramaic word abba. “Abba, pater!” “Daddy, Daddy!” Some of the first words children learn how to say.
Now, since Jesus was teaching His disciples to pray to the God of all the universe, wouldn’t you expect Him to have taught them the most potent, honoring way to address Him? We would expect Jehovah Shalom, El Elyon, Adonai, Master, Maker, King! Instead, He teaches us to speak to our Father.
Why? Maybe because “Daddy” is the most honoring, most powerful and most heart-warming name of God—the one He chooses over all others—the one He loves to hear from the lips of His children.
You may have never thought of it this way, but “Father” may be one of the most powerful words you’ll ever speak.
When I hear someone call the name Zach, I know someone is calling me, but it could be a friend, an acquaintance or maybe even a complete stranger. But when I hear “Daddy,” I know I’m hearing from one of my children. No one bends my ear, no one bends my heart like my sons and my daughters.
Jesus gave His life to win you that intimacy. The Creator of the universe sent His Son to the cross so you could be His child and have the right to call Him Father.
So, when you call on your Father in heaven, you can have the confidence of knowing you instantly have the ear of your Daddy God. You have just called out the very password to His heart.
And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, “Abba, Father!”