Can you recite the Lord’s Prayer? Go ahead, give it a try…”Our Father…”
Need a hint? Click here.
How did you do?
How long has it been since you recited it? Maybe you recite the prayer often. Or maybe your church worship uses the prayer weekly?
What does the Lord’s Prayer matter? Are we supposed to receive some kind of blessing if we pray it? Is this why people want prayer back in school? Will our nation be blessed if we require students across the land to recite the Prayer? Is it actually an incantation that forces the Lord to bless us?
Wait…aren’t we against empty, ritualistic prayer? Didn’t Jesus have something to say about prayer that is nothing more than meaningless babble? In fact, he did. Just before he taught the Lord’s Prayer, he said this:
“And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.“
Is it wrong then to recite the prayer?
No, not if our heart desires the prayer to be a meaningful communication with the Lord. But perhaps there is a lot more to the prayer that just a brief recitation. Is it possible that Jesus was teaching a format for prayer?