Abba, Father: Taking another look

In the days after Father’s Day, we were still reflecting on fathers and looking at what the Scripture have to say about God and fathers. Psalm 103:13, the Verse of the Day, for June 16, 2014 talked of the qualities of God as a father:

Like as a father pitieth his children, so the LORD pitieth them that fear him.

Other related scriptures included:

Proverbs 3:12

For whom the LORD loveth he correcteth; even as a father the son in whom he delighteth.

1 Thessalonians 2:11

As ye know how we exhorted and comforted and charged every one of you, as a father doth his children.

Ephesians 1:3

3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort,

Abba, Father:

God is our father: We have the privilege, not just to call God, “our Father”, but we can call him “Abba, Father”

The word “Abba,” is a transliteration of the word “Father.” Since no English word adequately conveys the meaning of the Aramaic word, “Abba,” the translators use the transliteration of the term. The word conveys a close intimacy that is reserved for parents and children. We might compare the word to dad or “Daddy” or some other term of endearment, but such translations do not really express the closeness implied by the term. Here are three places where the expression is used.

Mark 14:36

And he said, Abba, Father, all things are possible unto thee; take away this cup from me: nevertheless not what I will, but what thou wilt.

Romans 8:15

For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.

Galatians 4:6

And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.


The latter two verses form the epigraph or introductory statement to a poem with the title:


Abba, Father

For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear,

but you received the Spirit of adoption

by whom we cry out,”Abba, Father.”  


Romans 8:15        

And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son

into your hearts, crying out, “Abba, Father!”

Galatians 4:6                                        

Abba, Father,

All creation is groaning and moaning,

Wrapped in a winding sheet

Straining for relief, release. . .

Sighing and crying,

we no longer suppress

the primeval urge to scream

but wail as if travailing in childbirth


 Abba, Father,

Our heart’s cries rise

from the depths of our souls,

stifled in some by disappointment,

crushed by discouragement and besetting sins—

heart-songs hushed in so many by hardship,

and buried in despair by hope deferred,

muffled and all but snuffed out by offense.


 Abba, Father,

hear our yearning to express

what cannot be uttered,

listen to our guttural lament,

the alto rhapsody of

our navy blue notes,

fashioned from the twelve bar blues

of our soulful melancholody


 Abba, Father,

hear this ecstasy of our prayer:

this inexpressible, irrepressible,

unspeakable joy infused into

the love song of a captive bird

released from the snare of the fowler,

a new sound, our song of the lark

composed to sing on the wings of freedom


Abba, Father,

we long to sing a new song of the Lord,

a beautifully crafted ballad,

an aria de capo arranged for our Beloved,

a duet sung in two-part harmony

fashioned from our own Willow Song,

as our midnight cry harmonizes

with the voice of the bridegroom


Abba, Father,

as the Daystar dawns

and the sun of righteousness

rises to dispel the frigid, dark night,

receive these our brand new praisesongs,

songs in the night, sung in the morning,

raised to glorify and magnify your name,

as perfected true sons of God

now emerge to transform the earth


Listen to a heartfelt song entitled “Abba Father” from the group Acapella


Maranatha Singers also offer a rendition of “Abba Father/We Give You Glory” from a collection entitled “Abba” 18 songs to the Father.

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