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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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It really is the perfect prayer

With Jesus'words, 'Our Father ... your will be done,' I say all that's needed

Surrounded by the demands of people hungry to learn, to be healed or who were simply curious, Jesus used prayer to restore himself. He would go to a quiet place to commune with his Father and return—ready to meet the demands of his public ministry.

Seeing this, one day his followers asked Jesus to teach them to pray. The prayer we have come to know as the Lord’s Prayer was his response to them, his gift to us all.

The Lord's PrayerThe Lord’s Prayer is deeply rooted in Jewish tradition. It has been much translated and revised in the 2,000 years since Jesus spoke it, but its essential strengths remain. What has changed, for me, is my understanding. Time has clarified each petition and given it new meaning.

When we are faithful, our prayer life evolves. Children say the prayers they’re taught. It felt like a rite of passage when I began to use the Lord’s Prayer instead of “Now I lay me down to sleep ....” Later I began to pray my own concerns and gratitude. It seemed a more personal encounter with God.


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April issue

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