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P. 1
The Lord s Prayer.

The Lord s Prayer.

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Published by glennpease
REV. HUGH STOWELL BROWN



One of the highest honors conferred on man, perhaps
the very highest, is, that he is enabled to hold communion
with his God by prayer. Certainly the question may
be asked, Why should we pray at all, seeing that God,
if there be a God, must know all our words before we
express them, and works all things according to the
determinate counsel of his own will ? But we do not
pray in order to inform the Divine Being of our necessi-
ties and desires, yet we thus acknowledge our dependence
upon him, and profess our trust in him.
REV. HUGH STOWELL BROWN



One of the highest honors conferred on man, perhaps
the very highest, is, that he is enabled to hold communion
with his God by prayer. Certainly the question may
be asked, Why should we pray at all, seeing that God,
if there be a God, must know all our words before we
express them, and works all things according to the
determinate counsel of his own will ? But we do not
pray in order to inform the Divine Being of our necessi-
ties and desires, yet we thus acknowledge our dependence
upon him, and profess our trust in him.

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Published by: glennpease on Nov 16, 2013
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THE LORD S PRAYER. REV. HUGH STOWELL BROWOne of the highest honors conferred on man, perhaps the very highest, is, that he is enabled to hold communion with his God by prayer. Certainly the question may be asked, Why should we pray at all, seeing that God, if there be a God, must know all our words before we express them, and works all things according to the determinate counsel of his own will ? But we do not pray in order to inform the Divine Being of our necessi- ties and desires, yet we thus acknowledge our dependence upon him, and profess our trust in him. He has himself ordained this method of holding communication with him; and however men may choose to perplex themselves in reasoning upon the philosophical bearings of this subject, prayer seems to be almost an instinct of the human heart, a law of our nature, which, however it may be kept in abeyance under ordinary circumstances, often comes into striking operation in great emergencies, such as a terrific storm at sea, a severe illness, or the clanger of losing a much-loved friend. On such occasions, men pray who never prayed before ; and scepticism itself, in times of deep distress and fearful apprehension, often bends its 2 (17) 18 LECTURES FOR THE PEOPLE. stubborn knees, and would fain take refuge beneath the shadow of God's throne. In the exercise of this great privilege, we need instruction. We ought to know the character of Him to whom we pray; we ought to know the nature of tl requests which it is right to offer at his footstool. In
 
that form of supplication generally known as the Lord's Prayer, Jesus Christ has given us this instruction; and in offering the requests which that prayer contains, we may rest assured that we offer nothing unwise, nothing unacceptable. The King of Heaven has here given us, in his own handwriting, the very petition which we are to present at his throne, as expressive at once of our w T ants and of his will. This prayer is often uttered in a formal, and even in a superstitious spirit, as if in the mere words there were some mysterious charm ; and it is frequently offered by persons who are perfectly sincere and earnest, but who are not at all aware of its great compass and marvellous amplitude of meaning. To understand this prayer in all its fullness, it must be care- fully studied. It is so simple, that it may be intelligently offered by a child; it is so profound, that the wisest men have never exhausted its stores of meaning. I have no doubl thai this justly \ en ¦ nted by many of my hearers: T would fain hone that it is ¦ I by them all: and my object on this bis glorious model of prayer I the formality and '.ion which in many minds are associated with it, to explain it in as brief and intelligible a manner as I can, and to point out some of those less obvious but very valuable truths which the prayer THE LORD'S PRAYER. 19 contains, but which, in consequence of your not having given much attention to the subject, may have escaped your observation. I invite you, therefore, to join with me, for a short time, in listening to the greatest of all instructors, as he teaches us how to pray. For this, it M worthy of notice, is what he teaches. He does not tell us that we ought to pray, or why we ought to pray; he does not urge us to engage in this work ; no, he takes it
 
for granted that we, as reasonable creatures, and not brute beasts, are quite sensible that prayer is a duty and a privilege; he takes it for granted that there is no unwillingness to pray: just as the Bible never enters into arguments to prove the existence of a God, because it assumes that no man will be such a fool as to doubt God's existence ; so it is remarkable that Christ assumes a general, if not universal, conviction and sense of the reasonableness of prayer ; he pays respect to the dignity of human nature by making this assumption, and therefore proceeds to tell us, not why we should pray, but in what manner this recognised duty should be performed, this acknowledged privilege exercised. And first he tells us how we are to address God, " Our Father which art in heaven." See what light these words throw upon the character of the Divine Being. They tell us that he is not the angry, cruel, vindictive tyrant whom most ¦ of the heathens consider him to be ; they tell us that this world and its inhabitants are not under the dominion of some cold, heartless, iron-bound necessity or fate, as many philosophers have taught; they tell us that while God is our Creator, our King, and our Judge, he is also our Friend, and more than our 20 LECTURES FOR THE PEOPLE. Friend, our Father. It ought to be a source of unspeak- able satisfaction to have from such an authority such a statement, as to the character of God, and his relationship to us. A thoughtful man may well be astonished as he reads these words, and finds that he, a poor, weak, icmorant, sinful creature, has a right to call the glonoft Deity his Father. He will very naturally ask on what this right is founded ; and the foundation of this right, I believe°, you will find to be this, the fact that « God sent forth his Son" Jesus Christ for this purpose, amongst

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