Have you ever been to a church service where the congregation recited what we often call The Lord’s Prayer? I think it’s fine to memorize it as scripture. If the purpose of congregational recital is to learn the Word, there’s nothing wrong with reciting it in church. But I don’t think Jesus was telling us to repeat it verbatim as our prayer. To understand why, let’s look at what Matthew Chapter 6 says immediately before the words, “Our Father in Heaven.”
Matthew records Jesus saying, “This, then, is how you should pray.” Notice he said “how” you should pray, not “what” you should say. I believe this is the important part. Isn’t Jesus giving us an example, a model prayer, in the following verses?
It seems clear to me Jesus is telling us to talk to the Father; to do so humbly; to ask for forgiveness; and to ask that we are able to avoid temptation rather than to recite scripture during prayer. Consider, he just got through saying not to be like pagans who feel they will be heard because of many words.
A church building used for 128 years by worshipers in Port Colborne, Ontario is a total loss following a devastating fire Tuesday. The building of Grace United Brethren Church was built in 1897. The fire was reported around 3:30 a.m. and the structure lay in ashes by sunrise the same morning.
Brian Magnus, Bishop of the United Brethren Church in Canada, said in a Facebook Post, “The front half (sanctuary, lobby and basement) are down to the basement foundation walls. The back half is also burned, and smoke-and-water filled, and will need to be torn down to the concrete slab.”
The loss is believed to be more than $1.5 million. A website has been set up for those wishing to help the congregation rebuild.