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A couple of years ago I read about a prominent public figure in Victorian England who deplored the number of poorer children who did not know the Lord’s Prayer.

Although I cannot find the link just now, this gentleman who did charitable work with boys in trouble generally turned his conversation around to their Christian instruction.  He would ask if they could recite the prayer that Jesus gave us.  Most could not.  Some remembered a few lines.  He found this state of affairs tragic.

As do I.  How many British children today can recite it?  Of course, the problem is further complicated by various Anglican forms of the prayer, modernised in the 1980s for the more youth-oriented orders of service.

I’m certain that my regular readers will have taught young people in their family the Lord’s Prayer (see St Augustine’s explanation and the New Testament source at the link).  However, others dropping by might need some help.  If so, Martin Luther’s Small Catechism explains what the prayer says and on what we should reflect when reciting it.

The Lord’s Prayer is comprised of an introduction, seven petitions and a conclusion. The Small Catechism breaks each section down into concepts which are easy for children to understand.  Excerpts follow — please visit the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod (LCMS) page for the full exposition.  Emphases mine in the text below.

First, for those who do not know it, the prayer in full:

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name, Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For Thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever and ever. Amen.

The explanation:

The Introduction
Our Father who art in heaven.

What does this mean?
With these words God tenderly invites us to believe that He is our true Father and that we are His true children, so that with all boldness and confidence we may ask Him as dear children ask their dear father.

The First Petition
Hallowed be Thy name.

What does this mean?
God’s name is certainly holy in itself, but we pray in this petition that it may be kept holy among us also.

How is God’s name kept holy?
God’s name is kept holy when the Word of God is taught in its truth and purity, and we, as the children of God, also lead holy lives according to it. Help us to do this, dear Father in heaven! But anyone who teaches or lives contrary to God’s Word profanes the name of God among us. Protect us from this, heavenly Father!

The Second Petition
Thy kingdom come.

What does this mean?
The kingdom of God certainly comes by itself without our prayer, but we pray in this petition that it may come to us also.

How does God’s kingdom come? God’s kingdom comes when our heavenly Father gives us His Holy Spirit, so that by His grace we believe His holy Word and lead godly lives here in time and there in eternity.

The Fourth Petition
Give us this day our daily bread.

What does this mean?
God certainly gives daily bread to everyone without our prayers, even to all evil people, but we pray in this petition that God would lead us to realize this and to receive our daily bread with thanksgiving.

What is meant by daily bread?
Daily bread includes everything that has to do with the support and needs of the body, such as food, drink, clothing, shoes, house, home, land, animals, money, goods, a devout husband or wife, devout children, devout workers, devout and faithful rulers, good government, good weather, peace, health, self-control, good reputation, good friends, faithful neighbors, and the like.

The Fifth Petition
And forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.

What does this mean?
We pray in this petition that our Father in heaven would not look at our sins, or deny our prayer because of them. We are neither worthy of the things for which we pray, nor have we deserved them, but we ask that He would give them all to us by grace, for we daily sin much and surely deserve nothing but punishment. So we too will sincerely forgive and gladly do good to those who sin against us.

The Seventh Petition
But deliver us from evil.

What does this mean?
We pray in this petition, in summary, that our Father in heaven would rescue us from every evil of body and soul, possessions and reputation, and finally, when our last hour comes, give us a blessed end, and graciously take us from this valley of sorrow to Himself in heaven.

Certainly, the Small Catechism is intended for adults as well as children, however, the sooner that children learn and understand this prayer from Christ Jesus in response to the request ‘Lord, teach us to pray’, the sooner they can offer a brief yet sufficient prayer which they can recite daily as well as  during public worship.

RESOLVED: June 3, 2011 — blog posts mentioned below have subsequently been removed.  Thank you to those who commented and/or kept tabs on the situation.

Christian Foundations — written by a David S Coffins — has just plagiarised two of my recent posts —

IMF chief’s scandal — slavery to one’s appetites or a set-up?

which shows up at his blog here:

http://dscoffins.blog.com/2011/06/02/exposed-dominique-strauss-kahn-is-a-leading-freemason/

and

French Socialists: Sweetness and light? — Just subversive!

which shows up at his blog here:

http://dscoffins.blog.com/2011/06/02/the-french-socialist-exposed-as-subversive-masonics/

In both cases, Mr Collins states untruths in the titles of his posts.

If Mr Collins had actually read the DSK post, which he felt free to steal, he would have noticed that DSK’s father — not DSK — was a member of the Grand Orient de France.

Furthermore, the second post which he nicked discusses the private club Le Siècle.  It was founded by a former member of the Grand Orient de France.  As my post states, it is not a Freemason’s lodge or club.  It is thought that between 15 – 30% of Le Siècle’s members are Masons, but not the personalities I profiled. 

Mr Coffins describes himself as follows:

David Is Married and as 2 children. He is an ordained minister and Church Elder.

Mr Coffins published both of my posts not only in their entirety BUT ALSO with no credit to Churchmouse Campanologist.

I do not know who this man is.  I did NOT give him — or anyone else — permission to plagiarise my posts. 

Mr Coffins — IMMEDIATE ACTION REQUIRED:

– FIRST, please either 1) remove these two posts from your blog or 2) reproduce a few paragraphs giving a link to Churchmouse Campanologist. 

My blog posts are my work from my research and my experiences, not yours or anyone else’s.

– SECOND, if you opt for the option 2) above, you will need to change your titles as NOWHERE in the post did I say that the people discussed are Freemasons.  

Plagiarism — fine conduct for an ordained minister and a church elder!!  Beware, folks!

For anyone else, if you wish to borrow, great, but please 1) refrain from reproducing the whole post — a few paragraphs will do — and 2) link back to my post!

© Churchmouse and Churchmouse Campanologist, 2009-2021. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Churchmouse and Churchmouse Campanologist with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN? If you wish to borrow, 1) please use the link from the post, 2) give credit to Churchmouse and Churchmouse Campanologist, 3) copy only selected paragraphs from the post — not all of it.
PLAGIARISERS will be named and shamed.
First case: June 2-3, 2011 — resolved

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