My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This is the easiest book I’ve read by NT Wright to date. It is filled with common language, easy illustrations, and a topic that is familiar enough to most people that it is almost impossible to forget the context of what he is saying. Despite all of these things the book is still a refreshing and unique look at the Lord’s Prayer. This was an excellent work that I would recommend to anyone interested in either learning more about the model prayer of Jesus, or anyone who wanted to enter into the NT Wright corpus slowly and safely.
Wright offers this near the beginning:
This prayer, then, serves as a lens through which to see Jesus himself, and to discover something of what he was about.
The Lord’s Prayer is designed to help us make this change: a change of priority, not a change of content. This prayer doesn’t pretend that pain and hunger aren’t real. Some religions say that; Jesus didn’t. This prayer doesn’t use the greatness and majesty of God to belittle the human plight. Some religions do that; Jesus didn’t. This prayer starts by addressing God intimately, as ‘Father’ – and by bowing before his greatness and majesty. If you can hold those two together, your already on the way to understanding what Christianity is all about.
Over the last several years i’ve read some wonderful books on prayer and some that dealt a great deal with prayer even if it wasn’t the main theme. This book finds an important niche in that catalog of writings. It, uniquely, finds the role of God’s kingdom to be an essential part of healthy and Christlike prayer. Wright’s global theological bent shines through subtly and beautifully. Like Jesus, Wright will not allow prayer to become just a conversation between one man and one God, though it is indeed that, but it is also a perpetual recognition that this one God has a goal that is simultaneously for the individual and for the world. There is no room for either/or, both must be present.
Read this book. It is worth your time. It is short, easy to grasp, and powerfully important.