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' Our Father who art in heaven' (Matthew 6:9).

the first words qualify all that follows in this divine prayer. In every sentence we are talking to our Father. Your Father and mine.

There cannot be a better way to pray for others or our loved ones. In the secret room of our minds we think of them, one by one, till they are all gathered together. Then, as it were, with our arms around them, we say: 'Our Father who art in heaven,' thus acknowledging our universal Father and our common need.

This first picture of the Lord to whom we pray is central in our faith. He is Wonderful, and a Father whose love and presence is real to us.

In this prayer all the teaching of Jesus is present. Learn to pray it, and love it, and you will need no other creed, and maybe no other prayer.

As we approach our Father in the secret place, we become increasingly aware that we really are his children. And this experience in turn, makes us more childlike in our attitude, and so more able to receive His blessings.

In His presence we find ourselves at the threshold of heaven; and so following the words 'Our Father,' we say 'Who art in heaven.' Thus our thoughts are introduced to our Father's home. But where is heaven? Not in outer space, where all things are natural. Heaven is not the the terminus of creation, it is the beginning. It does not come with observation, it is as Jesus teaches within us. It is in His presence, in the secret place. In the very beginning of all we are, and can become. As we approach our Father we open a way from the world to heaven.

'Like as a Father pitieth his children so the Lord pitieth them that fear him' (Psalm 103: 13).

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