A Theologian At Prayer

November 14, 1996
by Laurence DeWolfe

In the last days of war, and the first days of Allied occupation of Germany, Helmut Thielicke preached on the Lord's Prayer to a congregation under siege in Stuttgart.

Thielicke shared his congregation's fear of the bombs, their relief that the reign of terror was ending, and their unease about the future. All of these concerns could be contained in the Lord's Prayer. He wrote:

    There was not a single question that we could not have brought to it and not a one that would not have been suddenly transformed if it were put in the form of a prayer.

    The Lord's Prayer is truly the prayer that spans the world: the world of everyday trifles and universal history, the world with its hours of joy and bottomless anguish… the world of monotonous routine and sudden terrible catastrophe, the world of carefree children and at the same time problems that can shatter grown men.

    The world rests in the hands of the Lord… And it also rests in our hands when we lift it to the Lord in prayer.

Jesus' disciples asked what we may well ask, "Lord, teach us to pray." His answer to them is his answer to us.

Luke 11:2-4 – Jesus said to them, "When you pray, say: 'Father, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come. May your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us each day our daily bread. Forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who sins against us. And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from the evil one.'"

Prayer: We thank you, Lord, for your pattern for prayer and the gift of prayer. Amen.

About the author:

Laurence DeWolfe
Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada

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