You pray it. But do you understand it?
The Lord’s Prayer has become so familiar to us that we don’t think about what we’re praying. It’s a portrait of Jesus’ heart. And in it Christians from different times, places, and traditions have been united. We pray it, but do we actually believe it?
When Jesus taught his followers how to pray, he emphasized how uncomplicated it should be. There’s no need for pretense or theatrics. Instead, simply ask for what you need as though you were speaking with your earthly father. This opens a window into Jesus’ prayer life and presents us with a portrait of his heart for his followers.
Wesley Hill re-introduces the Lord’s Prayer. He shows us a God who is delighted to hear prayer. Petition by petition, in conversation with the Christian tradition, he draws out the significance of Jesus’ words for prayer today.
Most Christians say the Lord’s Prayer with great frequency and familiarity, so that we scarcely know what we are saying. In this treasure of a book, Hill opens up the prayer with great freshness for the ordinary reader, so that we seem to hear Jesus himself speaking to us, showing us how to pray to his Father in the same spirit that he himself does. This little volume will enrich a reader’s life immeasurably.
—Fleming Rutledge, author of The Crucifixion and Help My Unbelief
This book is a sharing in the Lord’s own life of prayer that is also a sharing in his disciple Wesley Hill’s life of prayer. Once you have prayed Christ's prayer with Wesley Hill, you will want to do it again and again.
—Matthew Levering, Mundelein Seminary, author of Dying and the Virtues
For the seeker, beginner, or mature believer, Wesley Hill offers a treasure of wisdom from the saints of the Christian past.
—Christopher A. Beeley, Duke Divinity School, author of Leading God’s People
This book is worth savoring.
—Marianne Meye Thompson, Fuller Theological Seminary, author of The God of the Gospel of John
“But Jesus’ words—His use of the plural possessive pronoun ‘our’ is the key—beckon us to take our place alongside Him, looking up to Him as our older brother (Heb 2:10–18), entering into, partaking in, and emulating His relationship to God. For Him, that relationship has always been.” (Page 13)
“Rather, ‘heaven’ is a word that allows us to speak about God’s nearness and availability without pinning Him down to a specific geographical address.” (Page 15)
“There are nearly half a million words in the Hebrew Bible, yet God is only portrayed as a father some fifteen times.11” (Page 11)
“That is what Jesus teaches His followers to cry out for: ‘Your kingdom come’ means ‘Father, make Your healing reign more and more tangible and visible in our world. Let Your rule assert itself ever more concretely in the places where sickness and evil still seem to have the upper hand.” (Page 35)
“the Lord’s Prayer is first and foremost about Jesus Himself” (Page 4)
The Christian Essentials series passes down tradition that matters. The ancient church was founded on basic biblical teachings and practices like the Ten Commandments, baptism, the Apostles’ Creed, the Lord’s Supper, the Lord’s Prayer, and corporate worship. These basics of the Christian life have sustained and nurtured every generation of the faithful—from the apostles to today. The books in the Christian Essentials series open up the meaning of the foundations of our faith.
Learn more about the other titles in this series.
Wesley Hill is associate professor of biblical studies at Trinity School for Ministry (Ambridge, PA). He is author of Paul and the Trinity: Persons, Relations, and the Pauline Letters, Spiritual Friendship: Finding Love in the Church as a Celibate Gay Christian, and Washed and Waiting: Reflections on Christian Faithfulness and Homosexuality.
Timothy C Moon