Jesus, in instructing his disciples on the basics of prayer, uses the imperative and tells them to “Pray in this manner!” (Matt. 6:9), going on to then give what we know as the Lord’s Prayer. This has been taken to mean—and rightly so—that the Lord’s Prayer should be used as a template for prayer, that we are to pray like this. This is true. Yet, in Luke’s account, Jesus’ words are slightly different: “When you pray, say this…” (11:2). This shows us that the Lord’s Prayer is not just a guiding principle, but rather a model prayer which should be constantly used.
…The tradition of reciting the Lord’s Prayer in worship goes back long before the Reformation, all the way to the ancient church fathers. The Didache, a guide to Christian life and worship dating back (at least) to the second century, instructed that this prayer be used three times a day! The use of the prayer was a staple in the medieval church, and the Reformers retained the practice. After all, the Reformers were only ridding the church of idolatrous worship—they kept the biblical parts!
…If you look at the Heidelberg Catechism and the Westminster Larger and Shorter Catechisms, you will find that they include an exposition of the Lord’s Prayer. Why? Because the theologians who wrote these catechisms recognized that learning this prayer was a great tool in teaching doctrine.
Jonathan Landry Cruse | “3 Reasons Why Christians Should Recite the Lord’s Prayer at Church” | July 8th, 2023
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