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February 25, 2009



Brilliant and thought provoking as always and yet so simplistic in some ways - I want to align my life with what I pray when I pray the Lord's Prayer - and so hard to do sometimes.

Simon Jones

I was asked last Sunday why we didn't use the Lord's Prayer in our worship, by which the asker meant, say it every week in church. I didn't have an answer because I sensed she was suggesting that the mere repetition of the words had value - something I instinctivly recoil against.

Your really helpful post has made me rethink that. You have captured the essence of the prayer as a template for our relationship with God and life of disicpleship, makiing the use of it in our worship potentially profoundly significant.

Thanks you.

Jim Gordon

Thanks Margaret. Hard to do is what's often true of things most worth doing. But we try - and God is good, thank goodness, and God!

Simon - good to hear from you again and hope life is good and getting gooder! I'm slowly growing a series of sermons on the Lord's Prayer, letting them grow out of observations, experiences, challenges and reminders that come from praying this prayer three times daily to remind me of the values that should be shaping my world-view, relationships and spirituality. I think the values and virtues that emerge from the theology of the Lord's Prayer would make our living revolutionary and radical in the best counter-cultural way. Anyway.....as my mother used to say when she wasn't sure of an outcome, "We'll see".

Tony Maude

"I can imagine no greater spiritual practice for people seeking the kingdom of God than to pray [the Lord's Prayer] - not as some sort of magical incantation, not as a mindless mantra, but as a way of dislodging our attention and affecton from distractions, and refocussing them on what matters most."
Brian D. McLaren, The Secret Message of Jesus (2nd ed. 2006), p. 217

Like Simon, I have resisted using the Lord's Prayer in worship every week, even though at least one elderly member of our congregation here asks for it to be so used. My reason has been a fear of this prayer being a mindless mantra rather than an expression of a real desire to see God's kingdom come, to enter it and allow it to reshape us and refocus our lives. Perhaps, for some, constant repetition reduces Christ's words to meaningless mumbling, but I now worry that my fears have robbed people of the opportunity to allow these words of prayer to reshape them and thir lives.


I too have resisted using the Lord's Prayer in services (even though use liturgy and written prayer) for the same reasons as Simon. When I first arrived at my curch I did one service on the prayer to try and see whether people acually understood what they were praying and it was was clear they didn't - it was just a mantra. I have since done a whole series on it to try and open up its meaning so tha when it is prayer in community or privately it can become powerfull wayto help us re-orientate our lives into God' purposes in worship and obedience

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