“Pray then like this: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name.” (Matthew 6:9, ESV)
When we pray, we are to begin by addressing the Father. Where is He? He’s in heaven. Where is that? Most people think of heaven as a far off place somewhere “up” there. Others merely think of heaven as a future place where they will go when they die. Fewer believers live with an awareness of heavenly reality being present and accessible to us in the here and now. But that was, in fact, Jesus’ primary message.
“From that time Jesus began to preach, saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”” (Matthew 4:17, ESV)
The Father is not far away. When you pray “Father in heaven,” you are not attempting to contact a distant deity. The kingdom of heaven is a present reality that we have access to by the Spirit.
“For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.” (Romans 14:17, ESV)
The kingdom of heaven is a present reality that Jesus came to give us access to.
“Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.”” (John 3:3, ESV)
In fact, the writer of Hebrews, gives instruction concerning those of faith who have died and gone to heaven. Those who are in heaven already surround us.
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,” (Hebrews 12:1, ESV)
Not only are you presently surrounded by the great cloud of witnesses, you are also surrounded by every spiritual blessing in Christ.
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places,” (Ephesians 1:3, ESV)
How do we know that those blessings are “surrounding” us? We, after all, are on the earth and those blessings are in the heavenly places. Not so fast. Yes – it’s true you are on the earth. But you are also seated in heavenly places.
“and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.” (Ephesians 2:6–7, ESV)
It’s not so much that we are two places at once (earth and heaven), but more that both of those places are the same place in us. We are “in Christ.” Where is Jesus? He is seated at the right hand of the Father. We are seated in Him.
When we pray to our “Father in heaven,” we only need to turn to our left. He is right there.