A third and final reason we call God Father is that he is the Creator of and Provider for the entire world. James describes him as “the Father of the heavenly lights” (James 1:17). Paul writes, “there is but one God, the Father, from whom all things came and for whom we live; and there is but one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things came and through whom we live” (1 Cor. 8:6). No wonder, then, he writes, “his whole family [literally, ‘all fatherhood’] in heaven and on earth derives its name” from the heavenly Father (Eph. 3:15). Or that, quoting a Greek poet, he remarks: “We are his offspring” (Acts 17:28). God created and provides for us; therefore, he is our Father.
As Creator and Provider, the Father dispenses his blessing with impartiality and expects us to do the same. In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus says, “But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous” (Matt. 5:44–45). When it comes to the blessings of salvation and eternal life with him, God requires faith of us. With creature comforts and temporal goods, however, God is an equal-opportunity giver.
God’s creatorship makes a tremendous difference in our prayer life, as Jesus himself pointed out. We spend our lives working hard to get stuff, some of which is good and necessary, some not. But often, we develop acquisition anxiety. We worry about acquiring what we need as well as what we simply want. To paraphrase the words of Jesus in Matthew 6:25–34, we worry about our lives, what we will eat or drink; and we worry about our bodies, what we will wear. We shouldn’t. To see why, we should pay attention to three questions Jesus asks us.
First, “Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes?” When we pray, God reminds us of our priorities and helps us see the difference between our needs and our wants.
Second, “Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?” When we pray, God reminds us of our value in his eyes and assures us that he will meet our needs.
Third, “Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?” When we pray, God administers a dose of reality medicine. Anxiety does not prolong life. Medically speaking, it shortens it. So do not worry, God will provide. Only the pagans run after all these things [food, drink, clothing, etc.]; our “heavenly Father knows that [we] need them.”
God is the Father of the entire world. He created us; he will also provide for us. So, let us pray to him!