Tag Archives: Lord’s Prayer

LitBit Commentary – Bruce Barber on Prayer 1

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LitBit: What then is the difference between any old prayer and truly Christian prayer? In a sentence it is this – the general concept of prayer is a response to human emptiness, human need, our lack of one thing or another; Christian prayer, on the other hand, is a response to fullness: the richness and abundance that is the life and being of God which waits to take expression in the world. Depressing emptiness on the one hand, anticipatory fullness on the other.

 

Bruce Barber

 

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Illuminating Faith: The Lord’s Prayer – Prayer for those who can no longer pray

Bruce Barber’s The Lord’s Prayer is an introduction to this Prayer – and to Christian prayer generally – as specifically Christian prayer. After framing the problem of prayer for the modern mind – believers and non-believers alike – Barber unpacks the Prayer line by line, drawing out its specifically Christian nuances. The study is supported by guiding questions and is suitable for personal or small group use; it could be comfortably be covered in a 4 to 6 week study series, although returning to the material again and again will be rewarding.

 

 

llluminating Faith studies are occasionally edited for corrections and other minor adjustments. The version date is incorporated into the file name of the download – check that you’ve got the most recent version!

 

 

 

LitBit Commentary – Gordon Lathrop on the Lord’s Prayer 3

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LitBit: …in the heart of the Lord’s prayer, we ask God, with an astonishing confidence—there is that word again—to forgive us now and give us bread now. …we borrow first-century Jewish apocalyptic language, but here we find that language transformed, reversed. These things are the presence now of expected end-time gifts. Only God forgives, and that at the end. Only God will spread the great, life-giving feast for the called ones: at the end. Here, in the assembly, in celebration of the actual presence of these things, Christians turn to each other in mutual forgiveness, which corresponds to and receives God’s forgiveness now, and the community holds a meal that it believes to be already God’s meal. Christians dare to do this, of course, because of the presence of Jesus Christ in the Spirit, the source of forgiveness and the grounds of the meal.

Gordon Lathrop, The Pastor, p.32alt

 

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LitBit Commentary – Gordon Lathrop on the Lord’s Prayer 4

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LitBit: The Lord’s Prayer has been so central to Christian practice that it may be taken as a symbol to stand for all of the assembly’s liturgy. It is one of the summary gifts of Baptism, a central pillar of the catechism handed over to us as we come to join the Christian assembly or as we rehearse, lifelong, the meaning of our participation. It recurs in every Eucharist, as the table prayer of the community, as the final text of the thanksgiving at table. It is as if we come to the end of a presider’s best effort—”praying and giving thanks as well as she or he can,” as Justin would say—and we stutter out again “Lord, teach us to pray,” using that beginner’s prayer as the best conclusion we can give to our common thanksgiving at this holy meal.

Gordon Lathrop, The Pastor, p.23f

 

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LitBit Commentary – Gordon Lathrop on the Lord’ Prayer 1

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Bread and forgiveness, the matters alive at the centre of the Lord’s Prayer, are “practices.” They involve us in enacting the things that we believe God is doing. That enacting is first of all ritual, communal, repetitive: in the prayer itself, but also in ritual acts of mutual forgiveness and in the ritual meal. But then our hearts and lives are invited to follow—in forgiving others, in exercising hospitality at all of our meals, in sending “portions …to those for whom nothing is prepared,” as Nehemiah 8:10 has it. Such practices are nondistancing, nondistinguishing. They still do not separate us from the rest of humanity, the condition of which the prayer so eloquently articulates. On the contrary. They connect us, in bread and forgiveness.

From Gordon Lathrop, The pastor: a spirituality, p.33f

 

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LitBit Commentary – Alexander Schmemann on Prayer

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We pray in Christ, and he, through his Holy Spirit, prays in us, who are gathered in his name. “And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, ‘Abba, Father!’” (Galatians 4.6). We can add nothing to this prayer, but according to his will, according to his love, we have become members of his body, we are one with him and have participation in his protection and intercession for the world.

Alexander Schmemann, The Eucharist, p.54

 

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LitBit Commentary – Rowan Williams on the Lord’s Prayer

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“At the central moment, just before we receive the bread and wine, we pray the prayer of Jesus: we say, “Our Father…” – and that is a great and significant moment, not just a bit of muttered devotion before we start on our way to the altar, but one of the supreme transitions in the drama of the entire service. For when we pray the prayer of Jesus, the Holy Spirit is in us and at work in us. We are affirming that in this act of worship the Holy Spirit is speaking Jesus’ words in us, praying ‘Abba, Father’, just as Jesus did and does.”

Rowan Williams, Being Christian, p.56


 

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