When I was in college (a loooong time ago), my friend Mark and I had a game we called, “Hey Dad!” When we needed something, we could pick up the phone and say, “Hey Dad!” At least we thought we could. When we’d see something we wanted in a store, hungered for a fancy meal, or talked about traveling to Hawaii, we’d look at each other and say, “Hey Dad!” Boy, were we jerks!
Actually, our dads would have done anything in their power to help us. That’s what dads should do. But they don’t always measure up. My dad worked two jobs, which paid for lots of trips and plenty of comforts, but they also took him away from the family. Sadly, we were not very close. He was, in some ways, more financier than father. He missed my plays and didn’t play with me. He was a good man, but something was missing. Personally, I have never understood the father who would spend more time working than being with his family. There are more important things to provide than money.
There is a Father Who gives us what we need, when we need it, and is always here for us. He sees every play, every ball game, every tear, and every hurt. He is nowhere to be seen, but is everywhere at once. He works 24/7, but only to work all things together for our good (Romans 8:28). This Father is extolled in the ultimate “Hey Dad!” passage in the Bible: The Lord’s Prayer in Matthew 6:9-13. Let’s look at Him through the majestic, memorable poetry of the King James Version.
OUR Father! This unites all believers into one family. There is no partiality and no uncertain pedigree. He is equally the Father of ALL the faithful. We can all cry, “Hey Dad!”
Which art in heaven
There is never a need to cry, “Hey Dad! Where are you?” He is always in heaven, above every place, seeing all things from a heavenly perspective. He is a God who is both far off and near (Jeremiah 23:23).
Hallowed be thy name
“Hallow” means “to treat as sacred.” That Name by which we are called is a holy name. Often parents name their children after favorite family members to honor them. We are to cherish and revere the name of Christ, whose name we bear. “Hey Dad! I want to be just like you!”
Thy kingdom come
Wow! Our Dad is a king! In fact, He is King of Kings and Lord of Lords (1 Timothy 6:15). And Christ is coming soon to set up his kingdom. “Hey Dad! You rule!”
Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven
Our Dad knows what is best for us, and has the power to do what is good. Young children want their own way, but the mature child of God wants what His Father wants. We cry with Jesus, “Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done” (Luke 22:42, KJV). “Hey Dad! What do I do now?”
Give us this day our daily bread
God is one father Who never tires of hearing his children say, “Hey Dad!” He delights in our prayers, and is more than willing to provide our every need, every day, without fail. The child of God never needs to wonder from where his next meal is coming.
And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors
Our Father in heaven is so kind and gracious, that He remembers our sins no more. He sent our Big Brother, Jesus, to die on the cross to pay our sin debt (John 3:16). He doesn’t forget our birthdays or school plays--He forgets our sins. There’s no shame in saying, “Hey Dad! I’m sorry.”
And lead us not into temptation
An earthly father can unwittingly lead his child astray, into bad habits or false teaching. God will never tempt us to sin, but we do need to pray for His grace to avoid it. His paths are righteous (Psalm 23:3). “Hey Dad! Carry me!”
But deliver us from evil
The word “evil” means “the evil one,” Satan. The devil seeks people whom he can lead into temptation. “Hey Dad! Someone’s following me!”
For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory
Just as the child owns nothing, but owes all to his father, so does all belong to our heavenly Father. Perhaps our dad’s station in life was humble and poor, but our Father is greater than, higher than, bigger than, and richer than anyone. “Hey Dad! You’re the best!”
Earthly fathers weaken and die. They waste their wealth, their fame fades, and their vitality vanishes. Our heavenly Father lives, unchanged, for eternity! We will never be left alone! “Hey Dad! Don’t go!”