Just Preach The Lord’s Prayer!?!

There is a running joke among preachers that if the lessons seem too tough to tackle, you can always “preach the collect” or, in the absolute worst case scenario, “preach the Lord’s Prayer.”  I’ve preached the collect a time or two, but never have I been so bold as to preach the Lord’s Prayer.  Imagine my surprise then, when I opened the Lectionary Page and saw,

Jesus was praying in a certain place, and after he had finished, one of his disciples said to him, ‘Lord, teach us to pray, as John taught his disciples.’ He said to them, ‘When you pray, say:

Father, hallowed be your name.
Your kingdom come.
Give us each day our daily bread.
And forgive us our sins,
for we ourselves forgive everyone indebted to us.
And do not bring us to the time of trial.'”

What does one preach when the lesson is the Lord’s Prayer!?!?!

Back in seminary, St. James’ Potomac did a five week Lenten Study on the Lord’s Prayer.  Whole books have been written on the topic.  I’m certain the “trespasses” vs. “debts” vs. “sins” debate has caused more than one schism.  So, I’m wondering early on a Monday morning, will you be preaching the Lord’s Prayer this week?  I’m tempted.

But I’m just as tempted not to.

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6 responses

  1. So I’m planning to preach it. Haven’t done all my reading/research yet (that happens Tuesdays), but the outline that I have thus far is- 1) wonder why this is the Lord’s prayer and other stuff wasn’t included. Why no prayer for peace, or more explicit thanksgivings, etc. 2) These are the core values of the Kingdom of God, that is why they are included. 3) What are our core values? What are we fundamentalist about? 4) Talk about the difference between radicalism and fundamentalism (having things be fundamental/foundational isn’t a bad thing). 5) Conclude by inviting people to make discipleship, as outlined by this prayer, something they are a fundamentalist about.

  2. I can’t remember who it was–Evelyn Underhill, maybe?–who said to deepen your prayer life, pray the Lord’s Prayer, but take an hour to pray it. I’ve used it as a guide to group contemplative/centering prayer (line-by-line, with minute pauses after each), and can certainly be used as individuals in that way. Perhaps there is sermonic material in that?

  3. The most neglected part of the prayer was the first two lines. A lot in the prayer had been talked about except for these two lines which in my own mind is the most important part. It speaks of God’s longing and need that He wants us to pray about.

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