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Mornings In The College Chapel by Francis Greenwood Peabody

LXXXI THE LORD'S PRAYER, II

OUR FATHER

Matthew v.21-25.

I have said that the Lord's Prayer is by its very form an unselfish prayer. This same mark of it is to be seen in another way by the word with which it begins. It does not pray: |My Father, my bread, my trespasses.| It prays throughout for blessings which are |ours.| Not my isolated life, but the common life I share is that for which I ask the help of God. Even when a man enters into his inner chamber and shuts the door, and is alone, he still says: |Our Father.| He takes up into his solitary prayer the lives which for the moment are bound up in his. He thinks of those he loves and says: |Our Father.| He sets himself right with those he does not love, reconciles himself with his brother, and says: |Our Father.| He joins himself with the whole great company of those who have said this prayer in all the ages, and have found peace {204} in it, and with that great sense of companionship the solitude of his own experience is banished, and he is compassed about with a cloud of witnesses, living and dead, as he bends alone, and in his half-whispered prayer begins to say: |Our Father.|

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