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Praying the Lord’s Prayer

2005 June 7
by Mike

Having now prayed the Lord’s Prayer almost every Sunday for a decade with the Highland Church, I’ve experienced the truth of these words from StormFront:

“As a celebration of the gift and call of the new life of trust, a community could not do better than to pray the Lord’s Prayer continually, thoughtfully, and with hearts willing to follow its lead. This prayer refocuses our attention from all efforts to secure our lives and well-being to the central issues of God’s kingdom. Rather than wealth and accomplishment, the Lord’s Prayer lifts up the basics of human life: daily bread, forgiveness, and deliverance from temptation. Prayer shapes a people humble in their habits, steadfast in their faith, modest in their words, just in their actions, merciful in their dealings, and disciplined in their conduct. Such a people trust only in the God made present in the life and death of Jesus, ‘for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.'”

12 Responses leave one →
  1. June 7, 2005

    I’d love that also, Greg! I think our mission & purpose statements are guides that we need to cling tightly to and perhaps the repetition would help make those as permanent and transformational in our minds as the Lord’s prayer now is!

  2. June 7, 2005

    I used to trip over the “thy Kingdom come” line. It’s been relatively late in my life that I’ve realized that the Kingdom isn’t the same thing as the church, or even what the church represents as an outpost or embassy. It’s the reign of God. It’s something I need to be praying for – not just every Sunday, but every day – to come into the world, yes … but especially into my heart.

    It’s not a line separate from “thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven,” but contiguous with it.

    I’m sure a lot of folks reached this conclusion long before I did.

    I really miss having it reinforced in my prayer life by hearing my siblings repeat it with me on Sunday morning.

  3. June 7, 2005

    …not only reciting the Lord’s prayer every week, but our Purpose and Mission statement.

    perhaps the repetition would help make those as permanent and transformational in our minds as the Lord’s prayer now is!

    I dunno. I think we’re safe in saying that the Lord’s Prayer should be etched on the insides of our eyelids, but I can’t say the same for mission statements.

    I’d rather not do anything that even appears to put a Purpose and Mission statement on par with the Lord’s Prayer.

  4. June 7, 2005

    Mike — in your posts about poverty there is an e-mail going around today from Brad Pitt about the poverty in Africa. Below is the e-mail as an fyi… The e-mail has pics, etc. but the blog won’t let me post those — only the copy. If you want the full e-mail on the One Campaign — let me know an e-mail address for you and I’ll forward the complete thing to you. Just fyi.

    Michelle
    ———————————–

    Dear Friend,

    Every single day 30,000 children die from the effects of extreme poverty and it almost never makes the news. Tonight, that’s going to be different.

    I visited Africa last month with Diane Sawyer to record a “Primetime Live” special, and tonight that program will air at 10pm/9pm Central on ABC. The show is not only about the emergency in Africa, but also about successful projects that are saving people’s lives and building new hope in entire communities.

    Yesterday the ONE campaign asked all of us to do something that will make a real difference for the people we met in Africa: sign a letter to President Bush asking him to seize the best opportunity we’ve had in decades to actually end extreme poverty. The ONE letter asks the President to support three bold commitments at the G8 summit of world leaders on July 6th: more and better international assistance, debt cancellation and trade reform.

    Last week I signed the ONE letter to President Bush, and since yesterday thousands of you have too. That is an amazing show of support. The ONE campaign has set a goal to get ONE million letter signatures by the upcoming G8 summit on July 6th. We can get half way there by the end of this week if you join with me and sign the ONE letter to President Bush and ask your friends and family to sign as well:

    Sign the ONE letter to President Bush.

    Thanks, and please tell all your friends to watch the show tonight: 10pm/9pm Central on ABC.

    Brad Pitt

  5. June 7, 2005

    The experience of reciting the Lord’s prayer each Sunday has become more and more powerful to me over time. There are occasional Sundays where I’m in such a funk that the music and the sermon (no offense, Mike – at these points its me, not you) – even communion – just fall flat on me. But reciting the Lord’s prayer always touches something. I think this happens because I know that – when I speak these words – I am coming into contact with something ancient – something that is much bigger than me and my worries. I join voices from history and from around the globe inviting His Kingdom into my world. On good days, I reflect on the implications of that invitation for my home, my occupation, and in the other places that life takes me. But even on my worst days, it is pulling me out of myself and into something bigger.

    When I worship at other places on Sundays, I really miss this experience.

  6. June 7, 2005

    Mike,

    The power of repetition has been seen in our own 3 year old class this spring. The past few Wednesday nights we have had a beautiful little 3 year old girl lead the rest of us in the Lord’s Prayer.

    About a year ago one of our 3 year old boys stopped me in United where he stood up in the shopping cart and recited it for everyone within earshot. Lots of busy shoppers stood still for a few moments . . . what a blessing. That boy will enter kindergarden this year, and I’m sure could pull it off in front of Highland with no problem.

  7. June 7, 2005

    Mike,

    Since arriving in Abilene/Highland in September, it’s been a blessing to say the Lord’s prayer every Sunday. It seems that each week, a different phrase moves me and convicts me. It’s true that some repetitious things can become rote and “creed-like,” but I don’t think the Lord’s prayer has or will become that.

  8. June 7, 2005

    It is so regrettable that in the past, the Lord’s Prayer was re-named or marginalized as belonging to “an earlier dispensation”. I had to be nearly fifry years old before I learned that (obviously) Matthew and Luke were Christians, writing long after Pentecost, for Christians and to make Christians. So, when their gospels say the disciples asked, “teach us to pray”, well, now we get the point.

    I have also been blessed recently by reading the Lord’s prayer alongside Jesus’ temptation in the wilderness. Stones into bread/daily bread, do not test God/deliver us from temptation, kingdoms of this world/your kingdom come. And, do your own will/your will be done!

    Now I can see that his prayer was born out of that beginning of his Messiah-ship.

    Wow.

    Michael

  9. June 7, 2005

    I found it interesting that you posted about the Lord’s Prayer today because I was just working on memorizing that prayer in Portuguese this morning. It is really neat for me to think about joining my voice with millions of my Christian brothers and sisters around the globe as we recite this prayer every Sunday. Now I will be able to recite it in the same language as my Itu brothers and sisters while I am in Brasil this summer! Thanks for the post and thanks for advocating that we recite the Lord’s Prayer every week. It is a great way to help me stay focused on what the Lord really wants to do in my own life and in the world.

  10. June 7, 2005

    Buster – Would you please call Gina (my co-worker) and tell her the name of the child? That’s a great idea. Thanks! Mike

  11. June 11, 2005

    Thanks for the post on the Lord’s Prayer.

  12. June 22, 2005

    I’m in the process of publishing a book on praying the Lord’s prayer and I’m setting up a wiki for my & readers’ responses, further thoughts and ideas. I was really struck by the StormFront quote and wondered whether you had a reference or link so that I could make proper attribution?

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