Saturday, January 28, 2017

The Lord's Prayer / Praying with Jesus

The Lord's Prayer
Our Father who art in heaven.
hollowed be thy name,
thy kingdom come,
thy will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread,
and forgive us our trespasses
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
Lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.

For thine is the kingdom, the power,
and the glory, forever and ever.

It’s been a little over a year since I began to blog on the Lord’s Prayer. During that time I have prayed this prayer daily, sometimes multiple times throughout the day. I need to explain that I am not from a tradition that makes use of written liturgy. Although as a child I was exposed to some traditions that did. From my point of view repeating the same words over and over was considered “dead works” and “vain repetition”.

About a year ago I began to wonder about the prayers that Jesus prayed. This led me to consider that the book of Psalms were prayers that were most likely used by Jesus. So, I began to read “prayerfully”  as I read through the Psalms. During these times I could “hear”, in the back of my mind, the “voice of Jesus” reading them with me from time to time. Not a literal audible voice but one that was unmistakably reading the Psalms about himself. Sounds crazy doesn't it? But I don’t know how else to describe it. It was like a dub over, I was reading with my voice audibly but in my mind Jesus would “highlight” some words and make them indelible on my heart.

This was the experience that led me to reconsider praying the Lord’s Prayer. So how do I describe this theologically? N.T. Wright has a great explanation so I will not attempt this but refer you to his work.

I set out to blog each phrase of the Lord’s Prayer. I have laid it aside for a year but I plan to continue this series very soon. I will be looking next at the three indicatives (think commands) found in the first half of the prayer.