Our Father who art in heaven
I’ve recited the Lord’s prayer since I was a child, and have conjured up images of where ‘heaven’ is but I had never before noticed that the word, ‘heaven’, is in the PLURAL.
The heavens aren’t an actual location, let alone some place beyond our galaxies. All the literal translations note this. eg “'Our Father who art in the heavens! hallowed be Thy name” (John 6:9 Youngs). God is in the heavens, all around us. He is in the atmosphere.
Furthermore, wherever God in ‘heaven’ is mentioned in the Old Testament, it is always the plural, ‘heavens’. eg “He who sits in the heavens shall laugh” (Psa 2:4 NKJV).
God is not a physical being living in our dimensions of location, size and extent. God is a Spirit, He can be anywhere and everywhere all at the same time. God doesn’t dwell in a different location to us but a different dimension. He is in the air that we breathe.
The amazing thing here is that in this phrase we perceive that while God is so far above us, he is also so very near to us. “And He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their preappointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings, so that they should seek the Lord, in the hope that they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us” (Acts 17:26-27 NKJV).
God is in us and we are in Him. As we praise and worship God, His presence flows through us. We can never be alone. We can never feel abandoned and deserted. God is right there. We can be assured that He lives in us.
“No one has seen God at any time. If we love one another, God abides in us, and His love has been perfected in us. By this we know that we abide in Him, and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit. And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son as Saviour of the world. Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him.(1 John 4:12-16 NKJV).
With such a wonderful promise we can say the Lord’s prayer with increasing delight: Our Father, who is in the very air that we breathe, hallowed be Your name.