“Our Father in Heaven”
These are the words Jesus used to teach his disciples how to pray (Matthew 6:9-13; Luke 11:2).

Luther’s Small Catechism:
What does this mean? Here God encourages us to believe that he is truly our Father, and we are his children. Therefore, we ought to pray to God with complete confidence, just as children speak to their loving father.

Luther’s explanation reminds us that when call God, “Father”, we are naming a specific kind of Father- a LOVING Father. Many have had experiences with earthly fathers that are far from loving. Even those fathers we do love and cherish are not perfect; they have made mistakes in our relationships. What if we imagined our relationship to the earth, God’s creatures and creation as if we are their loving fathers and mothers? Our relationship with the earth would not be abusive, angry, demanding, uncaring, or negligent. What if we acted toward the earth as our best fathers act toward us-loving, protecting, engaged, tender, playful?

Below is a classic hymn that connects God, our Father, with the wonders of the earth. Read the words or check out a video of the hymn on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1V9cpxMQkAA (Scroll to the bottom of the page for a Father’s Day Prayer.)

This Is My Father’s World

This is my Father’s world,
and to my list’ning ears
all nature sings, and round me rings
the music of the spheres.
This is my Father’s world;
I rest me in the thought
of rocks and trees, of skies and seas;
his hand the wonders wrought.

This is my Father’s world;
the birds their carols raise;
the morning light, the lily white,
declare their maker’s praise.
This is my Father’s world;
he shines in all that’s fair.
In the rustling grass I hear him pass;
he speaks to me ev’rywhere.

This is my Father’s world;
oh, let me not forget
that, though the wrong seems oft so strong,
God is the ruler yet.
This is my Father’s world;
why should my heart be sad?
The Lord is king, let heaven ring;
God reigns, let earth be glad!

Text: Maltbie D. Babcock, 1858-1901

Prayer for Father’s Day:
Heavenly Father, we give thanks for your provision and care. We pray for our earthly Fathers: in thanks for loving fathers who support and care for their children. For single fathers, that they may find encouragement, community, and stable work. For forgiveness and healing for those whose relationship with their father is difficult or broken. For those who mourn their fathers’ death that they may comforted. Guide us to regard your sacred earth and all creation as a Loving father cares for his own. And bless all fathers everywhere, that they may be strengthened in love for their children, just as you have first loved us through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Amen.