Many of us have memorized The Lord’s Prayer. It may have been the first adult prayer that we prayed. It has always been considered by Christians as our guideline on how to pray. Author, David Timms takes us a long a different path and offers an in depth study of it as a foundation for living in his book “Living the Lord’s Prayer.”
I suggest that you don’t go into this book with the expectation that it will be like other book on the Lord's Prayer. It is not a quick read. Each chapter is a stand-alone study that will require some meditation. I knew right away after reading the first chapter - an 18 page study of the word "Our." But, far from being tedious, spending time studying the implications of this one very important word was fascinating and a bit convicting.
"Would it not be easier to have the character of Christ if we could form it apart from the irritations of others?" page 29
"We cannot grow in grace by withdrawing from others." page 31
As I moved on the second chapter - a 17 page discussion of the word "Father," I was equally intrigued as Timms explained how "Father” denotes the intimacy and security of a healthy family relationship.
Not all the chapters are one-word studies. Subsequent chapters are:
- In the Heavens
- Hallowed Be Your Name
- Your Kingdom Come
- Your Will Be Done on Earth As It Is In Heaven
- Give Us This Day Our Daily Bread
- Forgive Us Our Debts As We Also Have Forgiven Our Debtors
- Lead Us Not Into Testing, But Deliver Us From The Evil
- Yours Is The Kingdom, The Power, And The Glory
You may have noticed that some of the words that you see in Timms' version of the Lord’s Prayer are not the familiar words that you memorized. He uses his own translation based on the Greek text. For instance, instead of "In Heaven" he uses "In the Heavens" showing the difference in our perception of "Heaven" as far away and "the Heavens", noting the Jewish view.
- 1st heaven: the air around us that we breathe and the birds fly in
- 2nd heaven: the vast expanse of the night sky
- 3rd heaven: the spiritual, non-material throne room of God that is beyond the visible and the material realm.
As a nice bonus feature, you may visit Mr. Timms’ website, Growing Deeper to download a free small group study guide for the book.
David Timms has been a church planter, pastor and trainer of pastors for twenty-five years. He teaches New Testament and Theology and chairs the Graduate Ministry Department at Hope International University in Fullerton, California where he lives with his wife and three sons.