When we study the Lord's Prayer—one of the most familiar passages in all of Scripture—we tend to miss certain details, to pass over bits of information because we've spoken or read or heard it so many times. This is often the case with the Lord's Prayer, which begins with the regularly ignored word our.
Our prompts us to see ourselves, not as isolated individuals but as part of a people brought together to worship God. Speaking our at the beginning of a prayer drives us out of ourselves and reminds us that, as Christians, we are connected with others. Of course, prayer is, if nothing else, reaching out to connect with someone else—the Lord Himself. Therefore, when we say Our Father, we reach outside of ourselves, both to God and to the community of His followers.
This simple act reminds us that we need others and that we can no longer rely on ourselves. Nor can we continue to hold on to that which divides us from our fellow believers. Our opens us to the ministry of the church, both to receive gifts and service from God and His people . . . and to see our responsibility to give to and serve God and His people.
John Adair received his master of theology degree from Dallas Theological Seminary, where he also completed his Ph.D. in Historical Theology. He served for seven years as a writer in the Creative Ministries Department of Insight for Living Ministries. John and his wife, Laura, have three children.
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