During my second year in Seminary, I was taking a course designed to teach students how to “preach the Word.” The course was quite interesting; we were taught basic principles about how to formulate sermons, but then each of us had the opportunity to preach openly during class sessions. Many topics were covered; and it was a blessing to hear a variety of students declare the Lord’s messages that He laid on their hearts.
Many students were already good preachers, but I remember one in particular that caught my attention because of his opening prayer. He didn’t begin “Dear Heavenly Father….” Instead, he prayed “Dear Daddy….” What came after that was a prayer as sincere as any other I had ever heard.
Unfortunately though, I was caught off guard, even offended that he would refer to my Lord as “Daddy.” He even had the nerve to refer to the Bible during his prayer as his “Daddy’s Love Letters.”
What came next was a deep introspection into my heart about why I felt that way. Had he offended God? Did he really do anything wrong? Was God really “Daddy?”
I must admit that I struggled to listen closely to his sermon because of all that was going on in my heart and mind. But then I realized that it was all ok. God is our Daddy. He is our Heavenly Father, but a Father so close to us, we shouldn’t be ashamed to call Him Dad, Daddy, or other term of endearment.
Sometimes as Christians, we can get caught up in the specific words a pastor or another member uses when preaching, praying, or during a business meeting. We may even get offended to the point we are ready to “jump ship,” moving over a block or two to the next Baptist church along the road. But why? Is it because of false teaching, or just differences of opinion?
When I get home from work, I can’t wait to hear Wesley joyfully say “Daddy’s home!” I think God would probably say something similar about how He can’t wait for us to call him (that is, say a prayer), even if it starts with “Dear Daddy….”