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The Lord's Prayer

Matthew 6 and Luke 11 for the Life of the Church

series: Touchstone Texts

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Since the beginning of Christianity, the Lord's Prayer has occupied an important place in the lives of Jesus's disciples, for it is the prayer Jesus himself taught them. Like other biblical prayers, the Lord's Prayer contains words people offer to God. But since this prayer is from Jesus and is part of Scripture, it is also God's Word to people. When we say this prayer, not only are we speaking to God, but God is also speaking to us.

Highly regarded New Testament scholar William Wright shows how this classic text can speak afresh to the life of the church today. He integrates critical exegesis, theological exposition, and Christian spirituality to explicate the theological substance of the Lord's Prayer. His goal is to help readers come to know God and love God and others more deeply through a focused study of this important Christian prayer.

The Touchstone Texts series addresses key Bible passages, making high-quality biblical scholarship accessible to the church. The series editor is Stephen B. Chapman, Duke Divinity School.

Series Preface
1. The Lord's Prayer in Context
2. Our Father
3. Sanctify Your Name
4. Kingdom and Will
5. Our Daily Bread
6. Forgive Us as We Forgive
7. Deliver Us


"Wright's careful exposition of the Lord's Prayer effectively joins exegetical study to theological reflection and spiritual practice. Both detailed and accessible, this book presents the prayer within the contexts of Jewish Scripture and tradition as an example of 'divine pedagogy.' On nearly every page, I encountered fresh insights about how, through his prayer, Jesus teaches about God, himself, and disciples then and now. A must-read for all students of Scripture."

Elizabeth E. Shively, St. Mary's College, University of St. Andrews

"Hardly any other biblical text has as great a claim on Christians as the text of the prayer that Jesus taught us. William Wright's excellent exposition stands in an illustrious tradition of commentary on this dense and remarkable prayer, yet it also brings new insights to the church's gathered wisdom. For anyone wishing to access the treasures hidden in the Lord's gift of a model prayer, this book will be a magnificent guide."

Anthony Giambrone, OP, vice president and professor of New Testament, École biblique et archéologique française de Jérusalem

"Christians throughout the ages have considered the Lord's Prayer a summary of the entire gospel. Wright's close reading of this pivotal text gives us fresh eyes to see how this familiar prayer touches so many facets of the Christian faith. His lucid exposition of its main theological issues and his thoughtful reflections on its practical significance for the community of faith will surely benefit those who wish to embrace this prayer on their spiritual journeys."

Te-Li Lau, associate professor of New Testament, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School

"If you grew up as a Christian, you probably said the words of the Lord's Prayer thousands of times. But what do they really mean? What would they have meant in the context of Jesus's life and teaching? In this book, William Wright unlocks the meaning of each line of the one prayer Jesus is recorded as teaching to his disciples. The result is a wonderful window into the mystery of what St. Thomas Aquinas called 'the most perfect of prayers'--a window that will transform the way you pray the Lord's Prayer."

Brant Pitre, Augustine Institute Graduate School of Theology; author of Introduction to the Spiritual Life: Walking the Path of Prayer with Jesus

The Author

  1. William M. Wright IV

    William M. Wright IV

    William M. Wright IV (PhD, Emory University) is a professor of Catholic studies and theology at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and is a specialist in New Testament studies. With Francis Martin, he is the coauthor of The Gospel of...

    Continue reading about William M. Wright IV