The Lord’s Prayer – The Introduction and First Petition
Our Father who art in heaven.
No person can perfectly keep the Ten Commandments, even though he has begun to believe. The devil with all his power, together with the world and our own flesh, resists our efforts. Therefore, nothing is more necessary than that we should continually turn towards God’s ear, call upon Him, and pray to Him. We must pray that He would give, preserve, and increase faith in us and the fulfillment of the Ten Commandments [2 Thessalonians 1:3]. We pray that He would remove everything that is in our way and that opposes us in these matters. So that we might know what and how to pray, our Lord Jesus Christ has Himself taught us both the way and the words [Luke 11:1-4], as we shall see.
— Large Catechism, Part 3:2-3
Hallowed be Thy name.
[God’s] name should have its proper honor; it should be valued holy and grand as the greatest treasure and holy thing… that we have. As godly children we should pray that God’s name, which is already holy in heaven, may also be and remain holy with us upon earth and in all the world.
—Large Catechism, Part 3:38
In this petition we pray for exactly what God demands in the Second Commandment. We pray that His name not be taken in vain to swear, curse, lie, deceive, and so on, but be used well for God’s praise and honor. For whoever uses God’s name for any sort of wrong profanes and desecrates this holy name.… This point is easy and clear if only the language is understood: to hallow means the same as to praise, magnify, and honor both in word and deed.
—Large Catechism, Part 3:45-46
We should pray for ourselves who have God’s Word but are not thankful for it, nor live like we ought according to the Word. If you pray for this with your heart, you can be sure that it pleases God. For He will not hear anything more dear to Him than that His honor and praise is exalted above everything else and that His Word is taught in its purity and is considered precious and dear.
—Large Catechism, Part 3:47-48
Lenten Catechesis from Treasury of Daily Prayer © 2008 Concordia Publishing House.
Used with permission.
All rights reserved. www.cph.org
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