Monday, April 20, 2015

Do You Know How Important the Lord's Prayer Is?

It is hard to overstate the importance of the Lord’s Prayer to the Christian life.  While the Lord’s Prayer does not contain everything that can possibly be prayed (the Psalms offer a more comprehensive guide), it is our Lord’s chief teaching on the subject and has formed Christian practice of prayer throughout the centuries.  

The Didache (70-110 AD), an early 2nd century summation of Christian teaching, states that Christians should pray the Lord’s Prayer three times a day.  

Theologian William White Jr. has this to say of the influence of the Lord’s prayer:  “Without a doubt this is the most widely-known passage from the Bible and has been included in the Christian catechisms and liturgies of almost everybody since the days of the Apostolic Fathers. So familiar is it that it is usually known by its first line, Latin: Pater noster, German: Unser Vater, Dutch: Onze Vader, and so on through the manifold tongues of mankind.”  

Martin Luther’s comments on the Lord’s Prayer give us a tender picture of a man who prayed it with all his heart… along with a warning for those of us who pray it regularly: “For to this day I drink of the Lord’s Prayer like a child; [and I] drink and eat like an old man; I can never get enough of it.  To me it is the best of all prayers, even above the Psalms, though I love them very much.  Indeed, it will be found that the true Master composed and taught it; and it is a thousand pities that such a prayer of such a Master should be babbled and gabbled without any reverence throughout all the world.  Many people repeat the Lord’s Prayer perhaps several thousand times  a year and if they prayed it this way for a thousand years they would still not have [truly] tasted nor [really] prayed a single jot or tittle of it.  In short, the Lord’s Prayer… is the greatest martyr on earth, for everybody tortures it and abuses it while few cherish and use it joyfully as it should be used.”





2 comments:

John Harris said...

Which one? ;^)

Tom said...

snark