The Our Father: A Short Course with Dr. Ben Akers
When asked what they should say in prayer the Lord gives his disciples the “Our Father.” This prayer is considered a gift from the Lord and one that we should especially turn to in times of crisis. This series will go line by line through the prayer highlighting what it meant to Jesus’ first century audience and what it means for us today.
Session 1: Jesus: Model and Master of Prayer
"Jesus not only preaches about the importance of prayer, he models it for us in the gospels. In this session we reflect on some scripture passages in the New Testament which show us how and when Jesus prays along with how he teaches us to pray.
Access St. Augustine's Letter 130 here."
Session 2: The address to God Our Father who art in heaven and the 1st petition.
This session will answer the question about what we mean when we address God as Father. Why do we need to mention that he is in heaven? We will also come to understand why we pray that God’s name would be holy.
Session 3: The 2nd and 3rd petitions, Thy kingdom come and Thy will be done
The very first words of Jesus in his public ministry are “repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matthew 4:17). What does God’s kingdom look like? Why does it need to come? In the third petition we note that God’s will is always done in heaven. We will ponder on how to accomplish God’s wi...
Session 4: The 4th petition, Give us this day our daily bread.
With the fourth petition we begin to ask for things we need in our life. Are we just praying for physical bread or does this request imply more? We will look to the Lord’s teaching to discover what kind of bread we need today that he also gives us every day.
Session 5: The 5th petition, And forgive us our trespasses
The forgiveness of sins is a key part of Jesus’ mission on earth. This message is also one that we need to participate in. We need to forgive others who have sinned against us or we will not receive his mercy in our life. How do we find the reserves to realize this difficult yet necessary task?
Session 6: The 6th and 7th petitions, And lead us not into temptation...
The full meaning of the last two petitions can be difficult to understand. Why would a loving Father lead us into temptation? What is evil and how can we be delivered from it? We will explore what we mean by these last two requests of the prayer.