Karl Barth: “To fold one’s hands in prayer is the beginning of an uprising against the disorder of the world.” To begin an uprising…to turn the world upside down.
In the closing months of WWII, Helmut Thielicke preached on the Lord’s Prayer. He spoke words that ring true for us today:
“In these fearful, fateful weeks many people appear to have become alienated from their faith in God: they begin to ask how He can ‘permit’ such things to happen. It would be better, however, if they were alienated from their faith in men. It would be better if they were disabused of their fanciful faith in progress and stopped talking so emotionally and sentimentally about the nobility of man.”
Cyprian was a rhetorician who was converted to Christianity in 246. He became the bishop of Carthage and suffered a martyr’s death in 258. He suggests that the Lord’s Prayer contains “seven reminders of our wretchedness and poverty without Christ by means of which we are led to a knowledge of self and can see what a miserable and perilous life we lead here on earth. Such a life is nothing but blasphemy of God’s name, disobedience to his will, rejection of his kingdom, a hungry land without bread, an existence full of sin, a precarious sojourn, and an abounding in every evil.”
[The above quote from Cyprian comes from Martin Luther. Luther’s Works, vol. 42 : Devotional Writings I (J. J. Pelikan, H. C. Oswald & H. T. Lehmann, Ed.). Luther’s Works (42:27). Philadelphia: Fortress Press.
According to the Lord’s prayer, evil has its origin in the Evil One. We succumb to the devil’s agenda when we profane the name of God, oppose His kingdom, resist His will, fail to forgive those who sin against us, and when we do not resist his solicitations to evil.
Friends, this is why the Father sent the Son – to rescue us in our dangerous journey and assure us of getting us home to the Father’s house where we will love, serve and live for Him without fail!