The Lord’s prayer is deeper than we often recognize. St. Cyprian wasn’t joking when he said that it is an entire “compendium of heavenly doctrine.”
For example, in just the first two words of the prayer, “Our Father…” we are invited to meditate on the very heart of the gospel itself — God’s incarnation and our adoption as children of God. Truly this mystery is unfathomable!
[Side note: I love that word “unfathomable”! It doesn’t mean a thing is unknowable, but rather that there is no end of the knowing that we can have of a thing. A thing can be so deep that we can keep on going and never measure its depth!]
God took on our nature. He became human in every way and thereby brought humanity up into the Godhead. Through Jesus we (who were God’s enemies!) are adopted into God’s family. Given the same rights to approach our Father as Jesus has. Jesus tells us to call his father our father. We are “co-heirs” with him!
Pause and let that sink in for a moment. When we pray, “Our Father,” we are “approaching the throne of grace with boldness” (Hebrews 4:16). We are going before the Almighty, the King of all Kings, the just Judge of All, and calling him, “Daddy” (or “Papa” if you are one of my children).
And that’s just the beginning! There are many more things these two words offer us for meditation, but this one alone is worthy of spending a few minutes with next time you begin your prayers.
I’ll leave you with an extremely relevant quote from Luther: “Occasionally I wander among so many ideas in one petition [of the Lord’s prayer] that I forgo praying the others. If such an abundance of good thoughts comes to us we should disregard the other petitions, make room for such thoughts, listen in silence, and under no circumstances obstruct them. The Holy Spirit himself preaches here, and one word of his sermon is far better than a thousand of our prayers. Many times I have learned more from one prayer than I might have learned from much reading and speculation.”