Essay / Misc.

The Lord's Prayer in the Heidelberg Catechism

heidelberg city Any good catechism includes the Lord’s Prayer, broken up line by line and explained. The Heidelberg Catechism includes such a commentary on the Lord’s Prayer in its final ten questions (120-129), and it is excellent. Click through to read the full discussion in question and answer format.

From that discussion, I culled the basic interpretation of each line of the prayer and put it together in a continuous format.

The Lord’s Prayer, as amplified in the Heidelberg Catechism

O God, thou who hast become our Father through Jesus Christ, awaken in us the childlike reverence and trust in you which should be the motivation of our prayer. May we have no earthly conception of thy heavenly majesty, but may we expect from thy almighty power all things that are needed for body and soul.

Help us first of all to know thee rightly, and to hallow, glorify, and praise thee in all thy works through which there shine thine almighty power, wisdom, goodness, righteousness, mercy, and truth. And so order our whole life in thought, word, and deed that thy name may never be blasphemed on our account, but may always be honored and praised.

So govern us by thy Word and Spirit that we may more and more submit ourselves unto thee. Uphold and increase thy church. Destroy the works of the devil, every power that raises itself against thee, and all wicked schemes thought up against thy holy Word, until the full coming of thy kingdom in which thou shalt be all in all.

Grant that we and all people may renounce our own will and obey thy will, which alone is good, without grumbling, so that everyone may carry out his office and calling as willingly and faithfully as the angels in heaven.

Be pleased to provide for all our bodily needs so that thereby we may acknowledge that thou art the only source of all that is good, and that without thy blessing neither our care and labor nor thy gifts can do us any good. Therefore, may we withdraw our trust from all creatures and place it in thee alone.

Be pleased, for the sake of Christ’s blood, not to charge to us, miserable sinners, our many transgressions, nor the evil which still clings to us. We also find this witness of thy grace in us, that it is our sincere intention heartily to forgive our neighbor.

Since we are so weak that we cannot stand by ourselves for one moment, and besides, since our sworn enemies, the devil, the world, and our own sin, ceaselessly assail us, be pleased to preserve and strengthen us through the power of the Holy Spirit so that we may stand firm against them, and not be defeated in this spiritual warfare, until at last we obtain complete victory.

We ask all this of thee because, as our King, thou art willing and able to give us all that is good since thou has power over all things, and that by this not we ourselves but thy holy name may be glorified forever.

Amen, this shall truly and certainly be. For my prayer is much more certainly heard by God than I am persuaded in my heart that I desire such things from him.

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