Guest / Limited Access /
Is the Lord's Prayer a Christian Prayer?
Is the Lord's Prayer a Christian Prayer?

In Mullin v. Sussex County, Delaware, a U.S. District Court must answer whether the Lord's Prayer is sectarian. Four residents sued the county council for opening meetings with the prayer. The county says it's not Christian "because no Christian tradition existed" when Jesus prayed it. The judge called the case difficult "because there is no reference to Jesus or Allah." Observers weigh in on whether the Lord's Prayer is a Christian prayer.

"The Lord's Prayer is 'the' Christian prayer. It comes up more than any other text in Christian liturgies since the first century. And its context in Matthew and Luke gives explicitly Christian meanings to terms such as Father and kingdom."

"It is distinctly Christian. In the New Testament, it is Jesus who gives us the prayer. Throughout the Christian church—whether Catholics, Protestants, or Eastern Orthodox—people pray that prayer. You will not find it in a Jewish synagogue."

"It is a Christian prayer. Jesus was certainly influenced by certain Jewish models of prayer, but he gave it to his disciples specifically. So it's a direct inheritance for us as Christians."

"The Lord's Prayer is both Jewish and Christian. Jesus, a Jew, was teaching his Jewish followers to pray. But the fact that it is a part of both traditions fails to make it sufficiently nonsectarian to pass constitutional muster."

"You could consider it a prayer for multiple religions, because Jesus is considered to be a rabbi or a great teacher by many of the world's religions. It was not originally delivered as a Christian prayer; it was simply a teacher teaching his disciples a good way to pray."

"The prayer in and of itself does not explicitly espouse the precepts of Christianity. It recognizes God, but does not ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

From Issue:
Read These NextSee Our Latest
RecommendedTime To Rend Marriage? 1 in 4 Pastors Agree with First Things Petition
Time To Rend Marriage? 1 in 4 Pastors Agree with First Things Petition
Magazine argues for splitting civil and Christian marriage. LifeWay examines which Americans agree.
TrendingPope Francis Learns What Rick Warren, Russell Moore, N. T. Wright Think about Marriage
Pope Francis Learns What Rick Warren, Russell Moore, N. T. Wright Think about Marriage
(UPDATED) Warren turns Vatican conference into 'revivalist meeting,' while Moore explains why marriage crosses theological boundaries.
Editor's PickWhat Forgotten Christmas Tradition Should Churches Revive?
What Forgotten Christmas Tradition Should Churches Revive?
Rooting our celebration of Christ’s birth more deeply in our lives.
Comments
Christianity Today
Is the Lord's Prayer a Christian Prayer?
hide thisApril April

In the Magazine

April 2012

To continue reading, subscribe now for full print and digital access.