Our Father, who art in heaven,
Hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come,
Thy will be done,
On earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
As we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation,
But deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever and ever.1
The Lord’s Prayer is familiar. Sometimes so familiar we can lose sight of its power to transform thoughts, actions, and the posture of our hearts. Sometimes so familiar that we don’t consider the way it could change the way we show up at work.
The Lord’s Prayer is introduced in the book of Matthew as part of the Sermon on the Mount. Jesus is sharing with the crowd what it looks like to follow him and how his way subverts the normal way of things. The section on prayer starts by describing the common approach of hypocrites who “love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men” and babbling pagans who “think they will be heard because of their many words” (Matthew 6:5, 7). Jesus says don’t pray like that, pray like this instead–and he gives his listeners the Lord’s Prayer.
The Lord’s Prayer is a practice or behavior that is in contrast to the expected way of praying. It is a radical shift. We may not be praying on street corners or babbling like the pagans, but the Lord’s Prayer can still direct a radical shift in our own prayer life–specifically our prayer life at and for our daily work.
The prayer asks us to submit the attitudes, beliefs, and practices of our immediate professional life to the deeper reality of God’s invisible but tangible Kingdom on earth. It suggests questions like these:
What do we “hallow,” or give weight to, Monday through Friday–God’s name or our professional reputation?
What would it look like for God’s kingdom to be present within us and in our workplaces?
How do we think about forgiveness at work?
Lex Orandi, Lex Credendi, Lex Vivendi is an ancient principle that translates to “the Law of Praying is the Law of Believing is the Law of Living.”2 It means what you pray shapes how you live. In the same way, what you pray also shapes how you work.
Because applying questions the Lord’s Prayer suggests like the ones above requires serious thought and needs practical answers, we created a resource to help connect the ideas and principles of the Lord’s Prayer to our work lives. Download it using the button below.
This blog post comes from Denver Institute’s collaboration with Dan Marotta, an Anglican priest and author of Liturgy in the Wilderness: How the Lord’s Prayer Shapes the Imagination of the Church in a Secular Age. Listen to his conversation on the Faith & Work Podcast below.
1The Episcopal Church. (2007). The Book of Common Prayer. Oxford University Press.
2Marotta, D. (2022). Liturgy in the Wilderness: How the Lord’s Prayer Shapes the Imagination of the Church in a Secular Age (1st ed.). Moody.
Abby serves as the VP of Operations & Finance where she spends her energy making sure things run smoothly and effectively. Before coming to Denver Institute, she spent more than a decade working in public education in Mississippi and Colorado as a teacher, administrator, and human resources leader. Abby is an alum of the 5280 Fellowship, and she is passionate about the Denver restaurant scene–ask her for recommendations.
Brian is the VP of Formation here at DIFW and also leads our 5280 Fellowship program. Prior to landing at DIFW, he served in pastoral ministry for thirteen years and at Denver Seminary for four years. His vocation includes moving ideas out into life through relationships and conversation – whether that applies to God, work, the Church, good beer, or Liverpool Football Club. He married way out of his league, and spends most of his free-time being parented by his two daughters.