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The Lord and His Prayer

4.16  ·  Rating details ·  910 ratings  ·  120 reviews
Taking the Lord's Prayer clause by clause, Wright locates this prayer within the historical life and work of Jesus and allows the prayer's devotional application to grow out of its historical context. Grasping the Lord's Prayer in its original setting can be the starting point for a fresh understanding of Christian spirituality and the life of prayer. This is spirituality ...more
Paperback, 96 pages
Published April 17th 1997 by Eerdmans (first published 1996)
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Eric Chappell
Mar 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2014-reading
A fantastic little book on the Lord's Prayer. Of all the 'laymen' books for the Lord's Prayer, this is my favorite.

Wright does a phenomenal job of interweaving the plot line of Israel and the OT, the first-century context, and the person and work of Christ in a refreshingly delightful study of a common and well-known prayer. I found Wright's treatment of the prayer to actually be the most gospel-centered of most of the recent treatments of the prayer. You'll find it nourishing for head and hear
Jacob Aitken
This book *is* NT Wright in every sense of the word. And it also seems to be every NT Wright book. For Wright, the so-called Lord’s Prayer is not an updated spirituality to help you be more pious or something. It is Jesus. It is signing on to what Jesus is all about.

Wright gives a lucid summary of every clause in the prayer. In short, when we call God “Father” we are placing ourselves in Israel’s salvation-history (Ex. 4.22-23; 2 Sam. 7:14; Isaiah 55:3). It is saying “The Kingdom of God” (Wrigh
Aug 31, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I decided to read this book because it was one of the short NT Wright books that I have never read. I honestly didn’t think I would learn much about the Lord’s prayer since I have studied it thoroughly elsewhere. I am glad to report that I was quite wrong.

This book is based on a series of sermons that Wright preached in his church. From that standpoint it is very pastoral and relatable—not a lot of scholarly jargon. Also, Wright relates the prayer to the broader theology that Jesus had of the ki
JD Tyler
Aug 29, 2020 rated it really liked it
A short, accessible book on the Lord’s Prayer. This also is a great distillation of Wright’s larger biblical vision and serves as a great introduction to his thought.
Jan 14, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I grew up in communities where the Gospel was limited to the good news of personal salvation in Christ. There were hints of other themes, but getting out of hell and into heaven was the central narrative. We had to reduce and abstract all kinds of biblical statements and stories to make this happen.

Thankfully, my theology has changed and grown since then. But I do feel like the biblical vision of Heaven as a transformative force on Earth is still fresh terrain for me. It illuminates forces and d
David Lasley
Apr 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A small book packed with insight on the Lords prayer. Wright does a great job of bringing the prayer into its context, helping the reader understand a little more what Jesus probably meant, and what his listeners would've heard. For anyone interested in learning more about this prayer, this seems like a great resource. For anyone else like me who sometimes feels almost too familiar with the Lord's Prayer, this is an extremely refreshing and insightful read. ...more
This little book was simply great. I loved the personal application that he drew for each petition of the prayer, but I was blown away by the cosmic and creational redemption that he drew out of each prayer. Closely associated with the work he has done on Jesus, he describes what this first meant to Jesus and first-century Palestine, then draws much wider implications for us today. Great book.
Jeff Elliott
May 26, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: prayer
Wright' short book breaks the Lord's prayer down into the significant clauses which is not a new tactic but he never fails to find surprising insight and application in a well-worn text:

Some of the quotes may require context...

From the prologue:
Jesus’ message summons us to focus our thoughts on the coming of the Kingdom of God. Because that is a huge and difficult idea, I here focus that thought, too, on one small point: namely, the prayer that Jesus taught, the so-called ‘Lord’s Prayer’. We liv
Aug 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
This little book on The Lord and His prayer breaks up one of the most oft sung and prayed pieces of the Bible into its clauses and phrases and unpacks them, in the context of Christianity.

In a way that is theologically sound (I checked with an expert 😉) and that is easy to understand. So do try not to be put off by the less-than-awe-inspiring cover.

Read my full review here.
Jun 14, 2021 rated it really liked it
This is my first book by this author and I picked it because it was short. Short, yes, but packed full; lots of history, context, insight and application. I'm looking forward to more books by this author. ...more
Mar 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
Really great! Read in logos software.
Nov 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is my first N.T. Wright book and definitely will not be my last. This book is an older work that he completed while serving as a minister in the 90's. It is short and simple and very practical. Wright walks through the Lord's prayer and writes on each separate section of it. It was first written as a series of sermons so it is very accessible and easy to read or listen to. ...more
Jun 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: religious-books
A short and worthwhile read. I learned a lot and it definitely helped me understand and appreciate the Lords Prayer more.
Ben De Bono
May 17, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: theology
Compared to most of N.T. Wright's stuff, The Lord an His Prayer is very short and accessible. That's not a criticism however. In fact, it's part of what makes this book work so well. The Lord's Prayer is much the same way. It's short and accessible, yet also contains deep theological truth. Wright has written a book that matches the prayer perfectly. It's short, powerful, applicable and full of deep theological truth. I can't recommend this one highly enough. Great, great book. ...more
Marc Arlt
Feb 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is an absolutely brilliant little book which will forever change the way I pray this prayer. Rich in Kingdom theology and practical application with a vision for the whole world in view, you must read this book!
Patrick Willis
Absolutely loved this book! Quick read! Super encouraging and challenging! Every person interested in learning more about the Lord's prayer should certainly read this book! ...more
Mar 02, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biblical-studies
When Jesus tells his disciples to call God Father. It’s to get ready for a new exodus, we are going to be free at last. This is the hope of the coming of the kingdom of God. (Exodus 4:22-23)

Father (which comes first in Greek). contains not just intimacy but revolution, not just familiarity but hope. Calling God Father is the great act of faith, holy boldness, risk. Saying Our Father, isn’t just the boldness, the sheer cheek of walking into the living presence of the almighty God and saying, “Hi
Bo Cogbill
Nov 26, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this together with Praying the Lord's Prayer by J.I. Packer, Lord, Teach Us by William Willimon and Stanley Hauerwas, and The Prayer of the Lord by R.C. Sproul, and I would rank them as follows:

1a. Sproul
1b. Packer
2. Wright
3. Willimon and Hauerwas

As per his usual, Wright turns out a great book, this time focusing on the Lord and His Prayer. As always, Wright does a great job pulling you into the story God has written, is writing, and will continue to write until the return of Jesus.

"For n
Matt Allhands
Wright's treatment of the Lord's Prayer in its particular socio-historical context is insightful as well as helpful. But, his focus on world systems often overshadows many of the deeply personal points of application that ought to be considered. EG: In the last chapter, Wright focuses on the Kingdom of God standing in contrast and conflict with the kingdoms of Herod and Augustus which is all well and good. But was does the liturgical conclusion of the Lord's prayer have to say about how husbands ...more
Sep 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
The Lord's prayer captures who He is, and what He means.

Use the Lord's Prayer as a template: Pray personal prayers after each category according to each. This orders our desires and prayers to better ends. Often it's easier to pray when anxious or worried about our anxieties and worries. But the prayer corrects this, by ordering those in the middle, after our praise to God and our asking for his kingdom to come (which includes prayer for the world).

When we Pray for that kingdom to come, we situa
Jan 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Short introduction to N T Wright theology, build around Lord's Prayer. Lacks proper references and uses an oral style because it originated as a sermon series, but that doesn't dilute the essence of his thinking, all the major themes are here: using the Jewish context and 1st century messianic expectations as key to understanding the gospels, the inaugural eschatology, the importance of the biblical idea of Jesus as King, the blended approach of understanding concepts such as evil, sin, redempti ...more
Jun 11, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Lord and His Prayer is one of the better books I've read on The Lord's Prayer.

There's no way to sum it up without giving too much away, so I won't go into too many details. It is well written - Wright writes in an accessible style that really flows from point to point. This is not academic writing, but all his previous study is reflected in the book. That helps to put the Lord's Prayer in the original historical context, which few books on the Lord's Prayer even attempt. That brings out more
Apr 29, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
Classic Wright, with all the (mostly) good and bad. He frequently sets the prayer in the context of (1) redemptive history, (2) Jesus' geopolitical context, including both the Roman empire and 2nd temple Judaism, and (3) the life of Jesus himself. His applications often focus on the geopolitical in our day. There is an occasional maddening misstep by Wright, but on the whole this is a very stimulating book that does a good job showing how Jesus and his work is a the center of the prayer. It is b ...more
Barbara Heerman
Feb 09, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, religion
The Lord and His Prayer was originally a series of sermons. It occurred to me that I have never heard a sermon-series on The Lord's Prayer. The time spent reading this book and discussing it in a pastor-led Bible study, has been beneficial. It is a good way to bolster one's faith in the pandemic, and to strengthen one's understanding of the prayer fundamental to our faith as Christians. It is neither a heavy nor long "read." Wright always reminds us of the relationship between Bethlehem, Jerusal ...more
Mathew Nix
Nov 07, 2018 rated it liked it
As others have noted here, Wright has his own unique perspectives on many aspects of theology that show through in this book. But those aside, there is some solid applicable/practical content here for getting more out of the Lord's Prayer. Nothing mind-blowing that I haven't seen better described in other books on this topic, but its a quick/short read, so easy to gain the material without studying those other larger works. ...more
John Sheehan
Jan 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Pray like this Jesus said and N.T. Wright masterful brings this little big prayer to life.

Amazing how this author walks us through the Lord's prayer connecting us to the Fatherhood of God. N.T. Wright does not get into deep theological teaching of the Lord's prayer but teaches us several ways to incorporate it into our devotional lives. Beautifully written and easy to comprehend giving much insight into what the Lord was actually saying in his final prayer!
Dec 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
What a great little book. Reminds me of Wright's writing in his short discipleship book on some sermons through NT letters and themes. That kind of writing that gets into the idea very quick and drives at both pushing our imagination as well as tangible application.
If you want to fresh or more robust foundation to keep growing in the themes and posture of the Lord's Prayer, this is worth your time. You can read it devotionally, prayerfully or even as a study.
anna kristina
Sep 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
N.T. Wright illuminates this time-honored prayer with the wisdom backed by his life of scholarship and inquiry into the inspired meaning and historical context of the gospel message. Each of six phrases of this prayer take on new meaning with the author's gentle explanation, as a revelation of the rich historical context that informs it. It's a prayer of "confidence and commitment" revealed in the "powerless power of the cross".
Deeply educational and profound.
Apr 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017
This was my first read of an NT Wright book, and my husband and I read and discussed it at regular intervals with some other couples. It's a relatively short read, breaking up the Lord's Prayer in small chunks and reflecting in depth about the meaning. I enjoyed the insights, and the Daily Bread chapter especially resonated with me. ...more
Jan 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
Short book with little surprises (because I've read a number of Wright's books already). That's not to say it isn't good. It is. Wright's emphasis on new creation and resurrection is so important and is a theme throughout all of his work (that I've read). Always enjoy spending a few hours learning from Tom. :) ...more
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N. T. Wright is the former Bishop of Durham in the Church of England (2003-2010) and one of the world's leading Bible scholars. He is now serving as the chair of New Testament and Early Christianity at the School of Divinity at the University of St. Andrews. He has been featured on ABC News, Dateline NBC, The Colbert Report, and Fresh Air, and he has taught New Testament studies at Cambridge, McGi ...more

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“When Jesus gave his disciples this prayer, he was giving them part of his own breath, his own life, his own prayer. The prayer is actually a distillation of his own sense of vocation, his own understanding of his Father's purposes. If we are truly to enter into it and make it our own, it can only be if we first understand how he set about living the Kingdom himself.” 2 likes
“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 and lovingly, as `Father' - and by bowing before his greatness and majesty. If you can hold those two together, you're already on the way to understanding what Christianity is all about.” 2 likes
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