“The Lord’s Prayer: ‘Pray Then Like This'”

Midweek Lenten Service
Wednesday, March 8, 2023

“The Lord’s Prayer: ‘Pray Then Like This’”

This year our midweek Lenten series is called, “A Catechetical Lent: The Six Chief Parts of the Small Catechism.” And today we come to the third of those six chief parts, namely, the Lord’s Prayer. We call it the “Lord’s” Prayer, because our Lord Jesus Christ taught his disciples to pray this prayer. And so this is the prayer that our Lord teaches us to pray, because we too are his disciples. We follow him in faith and learn from him and listen to his voice. So when Jesus speaks, we listen. Today Jesus tells us to pray, and he tells us how to pray. In giving us the Lord’s Prayer, he says, “Pray Then Like This.”


Published in: on March 8, 2023 at 9:34 pm  Leave a Comment  
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“The Catechism in Six Parts: The Lord’s Prayer”

Midweek Lenten Service
March 22, 2017

“The Catechism in Six Parts: The Lord’s Prayer”

So far in our series on the Catechism we’ve had the Ten Commandments and the Apostles’ Creed. The Commandments show us God’s good will for our lives, but the problem is, we don’t do it as we should, and so the Commandments show us our sin and our need for a righteousness we don’t have. Then the Creed comes along and shows us the answer to our problem, in the triune God who loves us and saves us and forgives our sins. Now that we are saved and are God’s children, the question then becomes how we find God’s help for our daily living. That’s where the next part of the Catechism comes in, namely, in the Lord’s Prayer.


Published in: on March 23, 2017 at 10:51 am  Leave a Comment  
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“Amen” (The Lord’s Prayer; 2 Corinthians 1:18-22)

The Resurrection of Our Lord: Easter Day
Sunday, April 20, 2014

“Amen” (The Lord’s Prayer; 2 Corinthians 1:18-22)

Alleluia! Christ is risen! (He is risen indeed! Alleluia!)

Yes, “Alleluia” of course is the word of the day for Easter Day. We’ve been saving it up all Lent, and now today we finally get to let it loose. And what a day to do so! Our Lord Jesus Christ rose from the dead on this day, winning the victory for us over death and the grave. If that doesn’t elicit an “Alleluia,” I don’t know what will. “Alleluia” is a Hebrew word originally, and it means “Praise ye the Lord.” And praise is most fitting for us to render unto the Lord God for the great salvation he has assured us of by raising his Son from the dead.

“Alleluia,” the word of the day for Easter. But today I’d like to suggest another “A” word that works just as well on this day. And that is the word “Amen.” “Amen” also is a Hebrew word that has carried over into English. It means “to be sure,” “to be certain.” The basic idea is firmness or certainty. In the Bible, the word “Amen” expresses a certain affirmation in response to what has been said. And that idea, and the word itself, carried over into the Christian church, and on through all the centuries, all around the world, down to this very day. “Amen,” we say, whenever we want to affirm as solid and trustworthy whatever has just been said, whether that is a prayer or a blessing or what have you.


Published in: on April 20, 2014 at 12:01 am  Leave a Comment  
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“But Deliver Us from Evil” (The Lord’s Prayer; Luke 23:32-49)

Good Friday
April 18, 2014

“But Deliver Us from Evil” (The Lord’s Prayer; Luke 23:32-49)

“But Deliver Us from Evil”: The seventh and final petition of the Lord’s Prayer. And how appropriate that we should come to this petition on this particular day, Good Friday. For the greatest evil that has ever been perpetrated on this earth is the crucifixion of Jesus of Nazareth. I mean, really, Good Friday could just as well be called “Evil Friday,” that is the magnitude of the evil committed against this wholly innocent man, the most innocent man who has ever lived–indeed, the only truly innocent man to have ever lived.

But the reason we insist on still calling it “Good” Friday is because out of that monstrous evil God has worked the most marvelous good. It’s like what Joseph told his brothers after they had committed a terrible wrong against him. He said, “You meant it for evil, but God meant it for good.” So also, in an even greater way, God has brought good out of the evil committed against Jesus.

And because of the incredible good that came out of the enormous evil done on this day, this is how and why we can pray “But deliver us from evil.” And we can be sure that God will do it, as we will now see.


Published in: on April 18, 2014 at 11:56 pm  Leave a Comment  
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“Lead Us Not into Temptation” (The Lord’s Prayer; Luke 22:1-46)

Holy Thursday
April 17, 2014

“Lead Us Not into Temptation” (The Lord’s Prayer; Luke 22:1-46)

During this Lenten season we’ve been doing a series on the Lord’s Prayer called “Lord, Teach Us to Pray.” And that’s exactly what our Lord does on this Holy Thursday evening. He teaches us to pray. That’s what he instructs us to do, that’s what he gives us an example of doing, and, even more than that, he prays for us.

In particular, on this night Jesus instructs his disciples to pray for strength in the face of temptation. “Pray that you may not enter into temptation,” Jesus tells them more than once. It was a word they needed to hear. It’s a word we need to hear, also. For we too face temptation in our life, and repeatedly so.

And so it is fitting, as we work our way through the Lord’s Prayer, that tonight we should come to the Sixth Petition, “Lead Us Not into Temptation.” So let us go now, with our Lord and his disciples–let us go to dark Gethsemane and there learn from Jesus Christ to pray.


Published in: on April 17, 2014 at 10:39 pm  Leave a Comment  
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“And Forgive Us Our Trespasses . . .” (The Lord’s Prayer)

Midweek Lenten Service
Wednesday, April 9, 2014

“And Forgive Us Our Trespasses . . .” (The Lord’s Prayer)

Today we continue our series on the Lord’s Prayer with the Fifth Petition, “And forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.” By the way, since this is the last of our Wednesday midweek services, and we’re only up to the Fifth Petition, you may be wondering how we’re going to finish out the Lord’s Prayer. Don’t worry. We’ll do the Sixth Petition, “And lead us not into temptation,” next week on Holy Thursday; the Seventh Petition, “But deliver us from evil,” on Good Friday; and the Conclusion, the “Amen,” on Easter Sunday. And so tonight, the Fifth Petition, “And Forgive Us Our Trespasses. . . .”


Published in: on April 9, 2014 at 10:25 pm  Leave a Comment  
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“Give Us This Day Our Daily Bread” (The Lord’s Prayer)

Midweek Lenten Service
Wednesday, April 2, 2014

“Give Us This Day Our Daily Bread” (The Lord’s Prayer)

We continue with our Lenten series on the Lord’s Prayer, “Lord, Teach Us to Pray.” Tonight we come to the Fourth Petition, “Give Us This Day Our Daily Bread.”


Published in: on April 2, 2014 at 9:12 pm  Leave a Comment  
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“Thy Will Be Done” (The Lord’s Prayer)

Midweek Lenten Service
Wednesday, March 26, 2014

“Thy Will Be Done” (The Lord’s Prayer)

We continue in our series on the Lord’s Prayer, “Lord, Teach Us to Pray.” And tonight we come to the Third Petition of the Lord’s Prayer, namely, “Thy Will Be Done.”

“Thy will be done.” Are we sure we really want to pray this? You know, sometimes we think of “Thy will be done” as just a resigned afterthought, after we’ve prayed for what we really want. “Lord, here are the things I really want you to do for me, but I know you probably won’t answer me the way I would like, so I’ll tack on a ‘Thy will be done’ disclaimer at the end.” It’s like we’re bracing ourselves for the inevitable disappointment when God doesn’t come through for us. But we know our prayers are supposed to sound pious, and so a little “Thy will be done” thrown in at the end does the trick.

Well, that’s kind of a minimalist view of this petition. We’re undervaluing it. There’s a lot more going on here than a mere “escape clause” for when our prayers don’t come true.


Published in: on March 26, 2014 at 1:33 pm  Leave a Comment  
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“Thy Kingdom Come” (The Lord’s Prayer)

Midweek Lenten Service
Wednesday, March 19, 2014

“Thy Kingdom Come” (The Lord’s Prayer)

We continue our Lenten series on the Lord’s Prayer, a series that we’re calling “Lord, Teach Us to Pray.” We come now to the Second Petition, “Thy Kingdom Come.”

I have three main points to make about this petition: 1) In this petition, our Lord is teaching us to seek first the kingdom of God. 2) In this petition, we are praying that God’s kingdom would come in our midst now. And 3) In this petition, we’re praying that God’s kingdom would come with Christ’s return at the Last Day. We’ll take these points now one at a time.


Published in: on March 19, 2014 at 9:20 am  Leave a Comment  
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“Hallowed Be Thy Name” (The Lord’s Prayer)

Midweek Lenten Service
Wednesday, March 12, 2014

“Hallowed Be Thy Name” (The Lord’s Prayer)

For our midweek Lenten services this year we’re doing a sermon series on the Lord’s Prayer. I’m calling it “Lord, Teach Us to Pray,” because that was the request of the disciples to Jesus, as you heard in the reading from Luke 11. And Jesus responded by giving them the words of the Lord’s Prayer. Notice, by the way, that the request was “Lord, teach us to pray,” not just “Lord, teach us about prayer.” And notice that Jesus’ response starts out, “When you pray, say. . . .” Not “When you think about the concept of prayer, sit there and do nothing.” You see, the point of this teaching, and the point of this whole sermon series, is not just to fill our heads with information about prayer, but rather, that we would actually pray. “Lord, teach us to pray.”

Last week we started out with the introduction to the Lord’s Prayer, where Jesus teaches us to address God as “Our Father who art in heaven.” We said that God is not some abstract “Higher Power” that we cannot reach, that we cannot know, and that we can’t be sure if he’s hearing our prayers and looking favorably upon us. No, in and through Christ, we have a much better relationship with God than that. Jesus has revealed God to us. We can know that God is our kind and loving heavenly Father. Jesus has opened the way to God for us. By his death and resurrection and his ascension into heaven for us, Jesus Christ has won forgiveness for our sins, has given us new life, and is seated at God’s right hand, interceding for us, so that now our prayers do have access to the throne of grace. God hears our prayers, and he has mercy on us, for Christ’s sake.

Now after the introduction, that is, the address to God as “Our Father in heaven,” we come to the First Petition of the Lord’s Prayer. The First Petition means the first thing we are asking for in this prayer. The petitions are the things we’re asking for or requesting. And the first one in the Lord’s Prayer is “Hallowed be thy name.” Notice, the first thing we’re asking for is not something like, “Lord, give me a new car,” or even, “Lord, help Aunt Tillie in the hospital.” We’ll get to Aunt Tillie, and maybe even to a new car, later in the prayer. But that’s not where Jesus would have us begin. See, Jesus has us start out with something about God himself, a request and a concern about God’s name, that it would be hallowed. Now of course this will be of the greatest benefit to us, but we don’t start out with a bunch of requests for our own immediate needs. God’s name comes first.


Published in: on March 12, 2014 at 10:12 pm  Leave a Comment  
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