Do We Really Mean It? 

      Perhaps one of the most quoted passages of scripture since the Bible was first printed in English is what commonly known as "The Lord's Prayer."  I have heard it recited in unison at various types of meetings. Several years ago I visited a few times a church which, every Sunday morning the Lord's Prayer was read from a catechism type booklet as part of their worship service.

      I have known people quoting or reading the Lord's Prayer in times of trouble or peril or very serious sickness, as a kind of prayer.

      Unfortunately, more often than not, this famous text is quoted by random rote, with hardly a thought as to what they are saying. The Lord's Prayer was born when Christ was once praying in solitaire.  The disciples happened upon Him praying. When He had finished they, very wisely, asked, "Lord, teach us to pray."

      Such teaching is needed today. I have been in friends homes for a time of fellowship and a meal. When the man of the house prayed it was exactly the same as I had heard many times before in his home. The prayer was simply from memory, not from the heart.

     There is a danger, that we recite the Lord's Prayer merely as a ritual, or a mechanical Pater Noster. Martin Luther is said to have said that the Lord's Prayer "is the greatest martyr on earth, tortured and abused by everyone."  He meant it is prayed unthinkingly, with our lips not with our hearts. I agree with Martin Luther's suggestion, that we study and meditate on each of the seven petitions in the Lord's Prayer. Without a doubt, once we have refreshed our memory on exactly what it means to pray: "Hallowed by thy name" or "Give us this day our daily bread", etc., we will not be inclined to repeat these words so flippantly.

     Certainly, the more we become acquainted with the deeper meaning of each of the seven petitions of the Lord's Prayer, the more we will be inclined to approach this prayer in the spirit of David who said: "Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Thy sight, O Lord, my Strength and my Redeemer."  We need the Spirit's guidance to keep our hearts and minds on the words that we are saying. Well might we assume the attitude expressed in the words below:

                        Holy Spirit, Lord divine, Breathe into this prayer of mine,
                        Grant that all I say may be prompted only, Lord by Thee. 
                 

       Just a Thought Across The Garden Gate by Parson Don. 


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Updated January 13, 2010
 
© 2009-2015 by Donald R. "Don" Brown, of Farmington, MO - U.S.A

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Each devotional was written by Parson Don Brown, and inspired under God's Direction
 

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