Luther on the Lord’s Prayer

“To this day I suckle at the Lord’s Prayer like a child, and as an old man eat and drink from it and never get my fill. It is the very best prayer, even better than the psalter, which is so very dear to me. It is surely evident that a real master composed and taught it.  What a great pity that the prayer of such a master is prattled and chattered so irreverently all over the world! How many pray the Lord’s Prayer several thousand times in the course of a year, and if they were to keep on doing so for a thousand years they would not have tasted nor prayed one iota, one dot, of it! In a word, the Lord’s Prayer is the greatest martyr on earth (as are the name and word of God). Everybody tortures and abuses it; few take comfort and joy in its proper use.”

From A Simple Way to Pray

(Reposted from Yinkahdinay, 09.14.06)

About Wes Bredenhof

Pastor of the Free Reformed Church, Launceston, Tasmania. View all posts by Wes Bredenhof

2 responses to “Luther on the Lord’s Prayer

  • Joe Bontekoe

    Thanks for posting this old post. I found this article concerning Luther’s ‘A Simple Way to Pray” at, http://www.reformationsa.org/articles/Luthers%20practical%20program.htm
    to be a good read.
    Among other things the author notes “The Lord’s Prayer is the model prayer of Christianity and it is not essentially a prayer of one individual, but a common prayer that binds all Christians together, uniting us with all believers, past, present and future, whether in Heaven, or on earth, in a Biblical Kingdom focused prayer.” This makes me think back to my youth when it was common to hear the Lord’s Prayer during the afternoon worship service, towards the end of the service. This is not something I have heard in years and have wondered about. I’m not sure why this is. Have we matured in this? Or is it we have become immature and made it prattle to our ears?
    I remember reading somewhere concerning reformed liturgy, I’m not sure where. But in a very small nut shell the argument goes. That the writers of the Heidelberg Catechism deal with the Ten Commandments, the Apostle’s Creed and the Lord’s Prayer at length. Both the Ten Commandments and the Apostles Creed find a regular place in our liturgy. Perhaps the Lord’s Prayer should also.
    It certainly is an ecumenical prayer that binds all Christians together. I think for that reason alone it should be prayed on occasion during the service.

    Joe Bontekoe

    • Wes Bredenhof

      Thanks, Joe. I agree. I think I may start using the Lord’s Prayer once per month in the afternoon service. It wouldn’t be the last prayer because I usually tie that to the sermon and then I also use that for regular intercessions and thanksgiving. But I could do it with the first prayer in the PM.

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