This Sunday is my final lesson in the Route 66 Series (Adventures in Spiritual Formation). I will be reviewing the last 11 weeks (briefly), and then capping it off with an examination of the passage of what has come to be called, The Lord’s Prayer. And we will pray it communally as well. It’s a Christian unity thing.
Do you have any questions or concerns about the Lord’s Prayer?
Here’s a tiny excerpt from a seminary research paper I did of the theology, literary structure, and message of The Lord’s Prayer.
…The Lord’s Prayer comes as the centerpiece in Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7:29) in which Jesus lays out what is vital for citizens in the Kingdom of God. Early in the Christian movement, the practice of saying the Lord’s Prayer before Communion (weekly) and [typically] praying it three times per day is documented. It formed a “token of their identity as Christians,” and was also called, the “prayer of believers”.1
The elements of adoration in The Lord’s Prayer propel us to appreciate God’s immanence and transcendence: a theological fundamental. God is hallowed, his kingdom heavenly, his earthly kingdom is both current and imminent. His kingdom will be forevermore.
The worship and adoration of God is crucial in prayer, and in this Prayer, not just because God is most worthy of it, but because we are spiritually formed by our saying, believing, and embracing those truths. We commune with God, and know him more fully as this reality is further congealed in our minds each time this is lived out.
Theologian Kevin Vanhoover contends that in praying the Lord’s Prayer we together experience our Father, our common sonship, and common our inheritance with Jesus. It is precisely the communal aspect of adoring that helps us to be ordered rightly. Furthermore, Vanhoozer states that when praying in this manner with Jesus, we participate in the family of God, and acknowledge God as Lord, while acknowledging oneself as contingent in the filial relationship made possible by the Son of God and the Spirit of adoption.2
1 Jeremias Joachim, The Prayers of Jesus. Studies in Biblical Theology, Second Series 6 (Naperville, IL: Alec R. Allenson, Inc., 1967), 63, 78.
2 Kevin J. Vanhoozer The Drama of Doctrine: A Canonical Linguistic Approach to Christian Theology (Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 2005), 225.
©Lisa DeLay 2010
Here is the prayer:
The Lord’s Prayer
Matthew 6:9-13 (King James Version)
9After this manner therefore pray ye:
Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.
10Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
11Give us this day our daily bread.
12And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
13And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil:
For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever.
Now it’s your turn:
Pick at least one question and respond.
What questions come to mind about the Lord’s Prayer?
When was the last time you said the Lord’s Prayer?
What are your feelings or thoughts about it?