Matthew 6 9-13; Luke 11 2-4
This week I thought that we could spend some time reflecting more deeply on The Lord’s Prayer. Each day I will offer my own thoughts on a couple of lines from the that most famous of prayers, focussing particularly on how the words may resonate in these strange and challenging times.
The Lord’s Prayer features in the Gospels of Matthew and John. In response to the request of the disciples to “teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples” (Luke 11:1). These were men and women who had been brought up in a culture of prayer. The Jewish religion is steeped in prayers that have been handed down through the generations and shape every aspect of daily life yet, despite that, Jesus’s followers expressed a desire to pray more meaningfully. The Lord’s Prayer is embedded in our culture. As a child, although I didn’t attend a church school, we recited it every morning although I know that it was simply that – a recitation, learned by rote, not unlike the times tables that were similarly drilled into us! I am always moved that whenever I conduct a funeral, when we reach the part of the service that includes The Lord’s Prayer, so many of those gathered join in. I can’t help wondering however, if it is a generational response and that maybe ,as time moves on, the words that are on the hearts of so many of us will become unfamiliar. My prayer today, therefore, is that these beautiful words will continue to be passed on through the generations and remain the bedrock of our faith.
Tomorrow we will begin to move through the prayer, exploring what the words mean to each of us. I hope you will join me for this journey.