The Lord's Prayer

Down through almost two thousand years of human experience a marvel of a prayer has come—a prayer uttered by a then little known young man of Judea to whom a small group of followers had said, "Teach us to pray." This, the Lord's Prayer, on the lips and in the hearts of Christians since that time, has been a staff and a stay, held in reverence and affection by all Christians. Whatever differences of belief and creed Christian religionists may have known, they have found a common life and love in this one prayer. Psalms, prophecies, exhortations, letters, the immaculate teaching of Christ Jesus, are all an illumined legacy for reverent thought, but in no one thing have Christians been more bound together than in the Lord's Prayer.

This spiritual inheritance is pure and true beyond measuring—a prayer including petition, declaration, and the assurance of God's help to men, full, complete, satisfying. It has been a pathfinder for the Christian; it has held the generations in one sacred chain of heaven-seeking endeavor. Possibly its enduring vitality lies largely in the fact that it makes no single claim for self. Even the petition which concerns the daily bread does not find the petitioner asking for his own bread only, but praying for "our" bread. This prayer survives because it is in its nature, as Mrs. Eddy defines divine Love to be, "impartial and universal" (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 13). It is for all mankind, belongs to the whole world, and lifts and blesses without discrimination and without condemnation all who use it.

The Lord's Prayer acknowledges God as supreme, the Father of every living creature, our Father and their Father, caring for all. It hallows God's name; exalts Him over all. It declares: "Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven;" so it acknowledges good here, now, for everyone, without limit, everywhere. The petition, "Give us this day our daily bread," acknowledges the full giving and receiving of the sum of grace and goodness and joy—all needed supply. "Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors," superbly interpreted in the Christian Science textbook (p. 17) as "Love is reflected in love," lifts the curtain upon divine Love controlling all human action, bringing it to express brotherhood, the consideration of men to men and of men to every creature, in saving, protecting, comforting, healing, all-satisfying, selfless service.

Love Alone Solves All Human Problems
May 11, 1935

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