And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, "Abba! Father!"
This is one of the most powerful statements of prayer in the entire Bible. It is a wonderful statement of intimacy. You may be aware that Abba is a Hebrew word. That is only partially true. It was, in fact, an Aramaic word. Hebrew was the language taught in the synagogue. It was the language of the Torah, the Old Testament law. But in the days of Jesus Aramaic was the language spoken in the home. Abba does mean father, but it might more accurately be translated, "Daddy." It could be translated, "Dada."
Before our first grandchild was born our family talked about grandparent names. Although I admit it is not as clever as some, I wanted to be called, "grandfather." My wife immediately said, "The poor little thing won't be able to say that." I answered, "I will answer to whatever she calls me." And sure enough, my grandchildren call me, "Gaga."
Abba would have been the first effort of a baby to say its father's name. The significance of Mama, Dada or Abba is intimacy. The baby saying that word is not asking for the car keys. She wants her parent's arms. She is clinging to your neck. The Holy Spirit inspires us to cry out for God's embrace.
Such a prayer is also passionate. You may note that the English Standard Version quoted above follows this statement with an exclamation point. That is because of the force of the word, "cry." The word Abba is only used once in the gospel accounts. In Mark 14 Jesus used this word to cry out to His Father as He sweated blood "with loud cries and tears" in the garden before the cross.
Abba is also used in Romans 8:15 which also says by the Spirit we cry, "Abba, Father." In the same context Romans 8:26 says the Spirit intercedes for us with groaning. We live in a groaning world. Romans 8:20 says creation itself was subjected to pain and frustration. The godly response to this world of suffering must include passionate prayer. And it is crucial to see that this verse is calling us to supernaturally inspired prayer. If the Holy Spirit is present in your life, He will inspire you to cry out, "Abba, Father," to our God.