“All religion is of life; and the life of religion is to do good.” - Doctrine of Life §1
Kempton New Church

Week 1
Day 2

    Listen:

The Lord’s Prayer

Our Father who art in the heavens, hallowed be Thy name. —Matthew 6:9, Luke 11:2

Praying to Our Father

Luke 11:1-2. And it came to pass, as He was praying in a certain place, when He had ceased, one of His disciples said to Him, Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples. And He said to them, When you pray, say, Our Father, who art in the heavens, hallowed be Thy name....

AC 6619. That there are countless things in the ideas of thought, and that those which are in order within them are there from things more interior, was... evident to me while I read the Lord’s Prayer morning and evening. The ideas of my thought were then always opened toward heaven, and countless things flowed in, so that I observed clearly that the ideas of thought taken from the contents of the Prayer were filled from heaven. And such things were also poured in as cannot be uttered, and also could not be comprehended by me; I merely felt the general resulting affection, and wonderful to say, the things that flowed in were varied from day to day.

From this I was given to know that in the contents of this Prayer, there are more things than the universal heaven is capable of comprehending; and that with man there are more things in it in proportion as his thought has been opened toward heaven; and on the other hand, there are fewer things in it in proportion as his thought has been closed; for with those whose thought has been closed, nothing more appears in it than the sense of the letter, or that sense which is nearest to the words. [Compare SD 1790.]

SD 2435. Concerning the Prayers of Infants.
It is given me to learn from experience that the prayers of infants have a much fuller hearing in heaven than the prayers of adults; and still fuller than [the prayers] of those who have closed the way towards interior things by thoughts of natural things and the things of memory; and still fuller than [the prayers] of those who are blinded and so have no faith, for with them, the way towards heaven is closed. [My] experience from which it was given to learn that it is [so is] that when sometimes I paid less attention to what is in the Lord’s Prayer, then the angels, as was told me, perceived it more fully; and this was also the case when I read in the Word of the Lord, because the way was open. This seemed surprising to me, yet from experience it was granted to learn that it is true. In like manner from this, that those spirits who are far away from me heard and perceived better when I thought tacitly, for my thought, which was very full of different ideas, hinders the matter from being so well conveyed.—1748, June 28. [Cp. SD 1826.]

AC 2803. Good itself is “the Father” ....

CL 84. Good has to do with love... for love is composed of good.

Mal. 2:10. Have we not all one Father? Has not one God created us?

Isa. 63:16. Surely Thou art our Father, for Abraham knows us not, and Israel does not acknowledge us. Thou, O Jehovah, art our Father, our Redeemer; Thy name is from eternity.

Psa. 68:6. A Father of orphans, and a judge for widows, Is God in the abode of His holiness.

TCR 306. In the spiritual sense, “to honor father and mother” means to reverence and love God and the church. In this sense, God, who is the Father of all, is meant by “father” and the church by “mother.” In the heavens, little children and angels know of no other father and no other mother, since there they are born anew of the Lord by means of the church.... The Lord teaches this in the common prayer of the Christian churches, “Our Father, who art in the heavens, hallowed be Thy name” ....

TCR 307. In the celestial sense, “father” means our Lord Jesus Christ....

Questions and Comments
  1. In Swedish, apparently it is customary to speak of “reading” the Lord’s Prayer where we would “say” it.
  2. Perhaps we do not need to worry too much if our thoughts wander or we feel sleepy while saying the Prayer sometimes. Possibly our thoughts may be more open at such times.
  3. There is a proverb, “The wish is father of the deed.” Perhaps this reflects that a good love is the father of every good thing that we do. This is one way we can see why “Father” in the highest sense signifies the Lord’s Divine Love, that creates and sustains all things.
  4. Why do you think the Prayer begins Our Father (in Greek word order, “Father of us”), and continues to have “we” and “us” several times? Why does it not say “My Father” or just “Father”?
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