Dietrich Bonhoeffer, in his book Christ the Center, says that we put too much emphasis upon the “How” and not enough on the “Who” in Christian living. He says that in talking so much about the How, we put Christ to the side and ourselves in the center. Of course, for the Christian the Who of life and prayer is Christ. The apostle Paul accentuates Christ as the Who of our lives: “For to me, living is Christ” (Philippians 1:21) and, “It is no longer I who live, but it is Christ who lives in me” (Galatians 2:20). And there are the words of Jesus Himself: “I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you” (John 14:20).
In praying the Lord’s Prayer we focus on the Who that is praying and not on the How. The Lord’s Prayer is the prayer into which Jesus’ draws us. Scottish theologian Thomas Torrance wrote eloquently about Christ as the Who of Christian living, our mediator, our High Priest, representing God to us and representing us to God:
“I know that no prayer of my own that I can offer to the heav- enly Father is worthy of him or of power to avail with him, but all my prayer is made in the name of Jesus Christ alone as I rest in his vicarious prayer. It is then with utter peace and joy that I take into my mouth the Lord’s Prayer which I am invited to pray through Jesus Christ, with him and in him, to God the Father, for in that prayer my poor, faltering sinful prayer is not allowed to fall to the ground but is gathered up and presented to the Father in holy and eternally prevailing form. At the same time, I recall that the Father has promised to send the Spirit of his Son, mediated through the name and vicarious humanity of Jesus, into our hearts, crying, Abba, Father.”(Thomas Torrance, The Mediation of Christ)
May you, with “utter peace and joy”, take the Lord’s Prayer deep inside you and, with the Spirit’s prompting, cry out with Jesus, “Abba! Father!”
PRAY THE LORD’S PRAYER (MORNING-NOON-NIGHT)