CONVERSATIONS WITH HEAVEN
The Lord’s Prayer teaches us to pray to our Father who is in Heaven. Why the locator in the text? Does it make a difference if God is in Heaven or on earth? Theologians tell us that God is omnipresent—He is everywhere.
So why not pray ‘Our Father who exists everywhere’? It would not be wrong to speak of God in this way, but Heaven is significant to us who are land-locked.
Pope Benedict XVI says:
This word ‘our’ also gives us the key to understanding the words that come next: ‘Who art in Heaven.’ With these words we are not pushing God the Father away to some distant planet. Rather, we are testifying to the fact that, while we have different earthly fathers, we all come from a single Father, who is the measure and source of fatherhood. As St Paul says: ‘I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every fatherhood in heaven and on earth is named.’ …
God’s fatherhood is more real than human fatherhood, because he is the ultimate source of our being; because he has thought and willed us from all eternity; because he gives us our true paternal home, which is eternal. And if earthly fatherhood divides, heavenly fatherhood unites. Heaven, then, means that other divine summit from which we all come and to which we are all meant to return. The fatherhood that is ‘in heaven’ points us towards the greater ‘we’ that transcends all boundaries, breaks down all walls, and creates peace.
It helps me to know that my prayers are received from Heaven’s perspective and not earthly limitation. The God who thinks through and plans everything is listening. His perspective is the one thing not available from anyone else.
Heaven’s agenda matters more than we can imagine. Our plans and thoughts are lifeless without the Father’s input. We need to always include our Father and maintain a conversation about what’s going on. It is in talking to our Father that we discover His face. In prayer we watch God’s hands extend. It is our conversations with Heaven that help us interpret the earth.