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Living the Prayer: The everyday challenge of the Lord’s Prayer by Trystan Owain Hughes

19 January 2018

David Adam welcomes a view of the Our Father as a summons to action

LIVING THE PRAYER is a well-researched and thoughtful exposition of the Lord’s Prayer. It offers new challenges and ideas for radical action in our use of the Lord’s Prayer. There are within it some amazing suggestions of ways to transform our contemporary culture and our daily lives.

Placing the Lord’s Prayer in its first-century context, the author shows us that the prayer is far more radical than being merely comforting words: it is a comprehensive call to action living out the words of this prayer. We are reminded that “All prayer demands a vital relationship both with God and others,” and that “The Lord’s Prayer is communal at its core.” I felt that I wanted to extend the idea of “vital relationships” to all of creation and not just humans.

Then, in noting that the plural form of the Greek word for “heaven” is used, it is possible to say it as “in the heavens”, and, therefore, it may not be about God’s distance from us, but in the atmosphere, in the very air that we breathe, implying God’s closeness. I felt that if we read it this way, what a challenge it is to what we are doing to the air that we breathe by the emission of so much carbon dioxide.

The Lord’s Prayer is not just a mystic’s prayer but a doer’s prayer, an activist’s prayer. In a nutshell, prayer is a relationship with God which inspires us to act, “as we witness to a wild, radical, subversive, dynamic, and life-changing faith”. The Lord’s Prayer demands nothing less than a revolution, as we move to view the world through the eyes of the one who gave us words.

I would recommend this book as one to be on the reading list of all who are concerned with prayer and the world.


Canon David Adam is a former Vicar of Holy Island.


Living the Prayer: The everyday challenge of the Lord’s Prayer
Trystan Owain Hughes
BRF £7.99
Church Times Bookshop £7.20

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