Saturday, February 13, 2010

Tertullian and the ordering within the Lord's Prayer

The earliest known writing about the Lord’s Prayer is by Tertullian, who lived in North Africa, 160-225.

In addition to exploring the meaning of the phrases within the prayer, Tertullian notes that the order of the prayer is also important. First we pray about heavenly things: the name of God, the will of God, and the kingdom of God. Only then do we pray for our earthly needs: daily bread, forgiveness, and protection.

Tertullian links this order to Jesus words, “Seek first the kingdom, and then these things shall be given you besides” (Matthew 6:33).

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