Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Our Father, Who from Heaven Above

"Truly, truly, I say to you, whatever you ask of the Father in my name, he will give it to you." (John 16:23)  Luther's great catechetical hymn on the Lord's Prayer is rich for our personal reflection and devotion. 
Introduction to the Lord's Prayer
1.  Our Father, who from heav'n above
     Bids all of us to live in love
        As members of one family
        And pray to You in unity,
     Teach us no thoughtless words to say
     But from our inmost hearts to pray.
First Petition
2.  Your name be hallowed.  Help us, Lord,
     In purity to keep Your Word,
        That to the glory of Your name
        We walk before You free from blame.
     Let no false teaching us pervert;
     All poor deluded souls convert.
Second Petition
3.  Your kingdom come.  Guard Your domain
     And Your eternal righteous reign.
        The Holy Ghost enrich our day
        With gifts attendant on our way.
    Break Satan's pow'r, defeat his rage;
    Preserve Your Church from age to age.
Third Petition 
4.  Your gracious will on earth be done
     As it is done before Your throne,
        That patiently we may obey
        Throughout our lives all that You say.
     Curb flesh and blood and ev'ry ill
     That sets itself against Your will. 
Fourth Petition 
5.  Give us this day our daily bread
     And let us all be clothed and fed.
        Save us from hardship, war, and strife;
        In plague and famine, spare our life,
     That we in honest peace may life,
     To care and greed no entrance give.
Fifth Petition
6.  Forgive our sins, Lord, we implore,
     That they may trouble us no more;
        We too will gladly those forgive
        Who hurt us by the way they live.
     Help us in our community
     To serve each other willingly.
Sixth Petition
7.  Lead not into temptation, Lord,
     Where our grim foe and all his horde
        Would vex our souls on ev'ry hand.
        Help us resist, help us to stand
     Firm in the faith, a mighty host,
     Through comfort of the Holy Ghost.
Seventh Petition
8.  From evil, Lord, deliver us;
     The times and days are perilous.
        Redeem us from eternal death,
        And, when we yield our dying breath,
     Console us, grant us calm release,
     And take our souls to You in peace.
Conclusion to the Lord's Prayer
9.  Amen, that is, so shall it be.
     Make strong our faith in You that we
        May doubt not, but with trust believe
        That what we ask we shall receive.
     Thus in Your name and at Your Word
     We say, "Amen, O hear us, Lord!" 

1 comment:

Orianna Laun said...

It's amazing how the text which expounds upon the Lord's Prayer are ever relevant. No matter how much others try to water down the songs and substitute trite sentimentalism for good, sound teaching; it doesn't quite get to the guts of daily life in faith.
When sorrow, temptation, or frustration creep in, weak words won't cut it. This hymn is one which reminds us to where we flee for refuge.