I know it’s asking a lot for you to listen to me four times in one week, so I thought today we’d hear from Saint Augustine. This is from a letter he wrote explaining why The Lord’s Prayer is the only prayer we really need. Everything we can ask for is contained in the prayer that was taught to us by Jesus Himself. Augustine writes:
For example, when one prays: “Be Thou glorified among all nations as Thou art glorified among us,” and “Let Thy prophets be found faithful,” what else does he ask than, “Hallowed be Thy name “?
When one says: “Turn us again, O Lord God of hosts, cause Thy face to shine, and we shall be saved,” what else is he saying than, “Let Thy kingdom come “?
When one says: “Order my steps in Thy word, and let not any iniquity have dominion over me,” what else is he saying than, “Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven “?
When one says: “Give me ne, neither poverty nor riches,” what else is this than, Give us this day our daily bread “?
When one says: “Lord, remember David, and all his compassion,” or, “O Lord, if I have done this, if there be iniquity in my hands, if I have rewarded evil to them that did evil to me,” what else is this than, “Forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors “?
When one says: “Take away from me the lusts of the appetite, and let not sensual desire take hold on me,” what else is this than, “Lead us not into temptation”?
When one says: “Deliver me from mine enemies, O my God; defend me from them that rise up against me,” what else is this than, “Deliver us from evil “?
And if you go over all the words of holy prayers, you will, I believe, find nothing which cannot be comprised and summed up in the petitions of the Lord’s Prayer. Wherefore, in praying, we are free to use different words to any extent, but we must ask the same things; in this we have no choice.