What does it mean to cry “Abba, Father”? |

Few believers would deny , but many of us struggle with . What is the correct way to address God? How do we bring our petitions to Him, when “All that the Lord wills, he does, in heaven and on earth, in the seas and in all depths” (Ps. 135:6)?

Some “” their requests as if He had already responded or was obliged to do so, like Aladdin sending the genie. Others, out of sensitivity to God’s sovereignty, fall into a form of fatalism: they avoid making any specific request for fear of asking against the Lord’s predestined plans.

I was considering this dilemma while reading the epistle to the Galatians. Pay attention to what this portion says:

“But when the fullness of time had come, God sent His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law, to redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying: ‘Abba! Dad!’ Therefore, you are no longer a servant, but a son; and if a son, also an heir through God”, Galatians 4:4-6.

Through the work of Christ, believers are adopted as children of God. We begin to relate to God as our Father. But what does the phrase “crying: Abba! Dad!”? And how does it teach us to pray?

The meaning of Abba Father

I remember that, at least a couple of times in my life, someone told me that abba means “daddy” in Aramaic. I was told that the author’s intention is to show that there is a very tender and intimate relationship between God and us. Nevertheless, for that translation of abba. When we read “Abba! Dad!” in the Bible, it is simply the word “father” in Aramaic, followed by the same word in Greek.

It is true that describing God as Father is enough to highlight a family and love relationship. That can help us meditate on how we should pray. But isn’t it curious that the name is repeated for dad? Wouldn’t it have been enough to mention it once? When Paul talks about crying out abba fatherwhat do you have in mind?

The apostle only uses the phrase abba father somewhere else besides Galatians 4. It’s in Romans 8:15: “For you have not received a spirit of bondage to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons, by which we cry, ‘Oh! Abba, Father!’” The similarity with Galatians 4:6 is striking.

Both passages describe our adoption and receiving of a sonship, which results in our crying out “Abba! Dad!”. So it’s hard not to believe that Paul is promoting the same theological thinking here.

If we are going to cry Abba Father, we must observe the way Jesus did.

However, Galatians 4 goes into more detail about this than Romans 8. We have not received the spirit of any son. Galatians 4:6 says that “God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts.” It is through the Spirit of Jesus that we too cry out “Abba! Dad!”. So to better understand what it means to cry out abba fatherwe have to ask ourselves another question: What does it mean that jesus cries abba father?

The cry of the Son

There’s only one other place where abba father appears in the Bible. It’s in the Gospel of Mark. Can you guess who uses the term abba father over there? It is about Jesus in the hour of affliction and anguish in Gethsemane. “Abba, Father! For you all things are possible; take this cup away from me, but not what I want, but what you want ′′ (Mr. 14:32-36).

If Paul expresses almost the same thought in two different places, and that thought refers to an expression that is only in one other place in the Bible, this should provoke our curiosity. But when that thought in Galatians and Romans expresses that we receive the Spirit of Jesus that cries abba fatherand in Mark we find Jesus praying like this, I think this reveals more about Paul’s intention.

So why does Paul want to take us to the Gethsemane account? Because if we are going to cry abba fatherwe must observe the way Jesus did it.

Cry Abba Father like Jesus

First, the Son of God cried abba father in Gethsemane acknowledging that his Father is almighty. “For You all things are possible; ” (v. 35). Jesus knew the plan of salvation but, even with that knowledge, He models for us the freedom that a Son has to express his heart to his Father. We do not see fatalism in his prayer. He sincerely asked that the Father remove this bitter cup of suffering from him.

The eternal purposes of the Father sometimes require a ‘no’ to our desires of the moment

Second, the Son of God cried abba father submitting his will humbly to that of the Father. “But not what I want, but what you want” (v. 36). Jesus was grieved and distraught, to the point of death. Even so, he did not demand anything of the Father. He did not declare by faith that his request had already been answered. He recognized that the eternal purposes of the Father sometimes require a “no” to our desires of the moment.

So, if we pray with the Spirit of Jesus, what should we consider? What does it mean to cry out abba father in pray? It means that you are not Aladdin and God is not the genie. But neither are you a servant who should be afraid to tell the master about him. you are a sonand through our Lord’s sacrifice on the cross, you can cry out abba father. You can express all your wishes with all sincerity, while also submitting the answer to them in the hands of your Father, wishing his will above all because it is always the best.

Yes, sometimes it’s hard to know how to pray, especially in the midst of crises. I know that I want the cup of difficulty to be removed. But I also want to submit to the . How nice it is to have an Abba Father who loves me as his child, and he understands that those feelings can exist simultaneously!

Editor’s note:

Do you have more questions about the Bible, theology and the Christian life? Find all the answers you are looking for in our series of Biblical Questions. Beam !

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