Living the Prayer

The everyday challenge of the Lord's Prayer

Trystan Owain Hughes

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Another great contribution from an author always rooted in the practicalities and compassion. Offering a resource on the most famous prayer in the world is a huge challenge but Hughes offers us something genuinely fresh and new. A reminder of the radical power of some life-changing words.
Revd Dr Keith Hebden, author and activist

Content

What are we really saying when we say the Lord's Prayer?

What are we expecting?

Living the Prayer is a fresh perspective on the Lord's Prayer. Rooted in the Bible as well as in contemporary culture, it explores how this prayer can radically challenge and transform our daily lives. Contained in the prayer's seventy words is a fresh and innovative way of viewing, and acting in, the world that is as relevant now as it was 2000 years ago. The author shows that this revolutionary prayer demands that we don't remain on our knees, but, rather, that we work towards making God's topsy-turvy, downside-up kingdom an everyday reality.

Contents

Prologue

  • Our Father, in heaven
  • Hallowed be your name
  • Your kingdom come, your wlil be done, on earth as in heaven
  • Give us today our daliy bread
  • Forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us
  • Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil
  • For the kingdom, the power and the glory are yours now and for ever

Epliogue

Acknowledgements

Bibliography

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Endorsements

Another great contribution from an author always rooted in the practicalities and compassion. Offering a resource on the most famous prayer in the world is a huge challenge but Hughes offers us something genuinely fresh and new. A reminder of the radical power of some life-changing words.
Revd Dr Keith Hebden, author and activist

The title of this book so aptly describes its contents. It is a not only a sensitive, thoughtful and painstaking exposition of the Lord's prayer, it is a call to put it in action in our lives and communities. In confronting us with the great gap which so often exists between what we pray and how we live, Trystan Hughes encourages us to face the challenges of living more fully before God. As each chapter carefully sifts the significance of every phrase of the Lord's prayer, we are offered wisdom from others and compelling insights from the author which take us into layers of new understanding. The result is a very fine contribution to a subject which can never be exhausted - and a contribution especially vital for today.
Dr Elaine Storkey, author and broadcaster

Author info

Trystan Owain Hughes is the Director of Ordinands for the Diocese of Llandaff and priest-in-charge of Christ Church, Roath Park, Cardiff, Wales. Since being ordained, he has become particularly interested in making theology and spirituality relevant to today's church. He is the author of the 2013 BRF Advent Book Real God in the Real World. Trystan has also been a regular contributor to BBC Radio 2 and BBC Radio 4 and is on the theological commission that assists the bench of Welsh Bishops.

Reviews

Review in The Church Times 19.1.18 by David Adam

'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

The Presbyterian Herald

Review by the Revd Dr Jim Campbell, Minister Emeritus Cooke Centenary Church, Belfast

The 63 words of the Lord's Prayer have inspired thousands or books and millions of sermons through the centuries. It's a brave person who would offer yet another book on the topic. Consequently, I was rather sceptical when I was asked to review this book.

Amazingly, Trystan Hughes, examining each of the seven phrases in the prayer in turn, manages through his deep biblical understanding and his knowledge of contemporary literature and film to produce a commentary that is well illustrated, fresh and interesting and one which engages with the main issues raised by the words of the prayer. Overall, his message is that this revolutionary prayer demands that we don't remain on our knees, but rather that we rise 'to work towards making God's topsy-turvy, downside-up kingdom, an everyday reality.'

If you want to deepen your understanding and appreciation of the Lord's Prayer and also let it fully permeate your life this could be the book for you.

Review by the Revd Dr Jim Campbell, Minister Emeritus Cooke Centenary Church, Belfast

Review by blogger Thomas Creedy

I read [Living the Prayer] in one sitting - with what I would mostly call breathless enjoyment... This is an excellent book in the tradition of powerful, prophetic, prayerful writing on the Lord's Prayer. I hope it receives a wide readership... Trystan paints a beautiful picture of the Kingdom of God, breaking in and just out of reach. He is particularly focused on the justice aspect of the Kingdom - the book is littered with calls to action and protest, against the way things are - but some of the most moving writing has to do with how we experience the Kingdom of God in brokenness and pain...

This book is one that would work well as a devotional to go deeper into the Lord's Prayer, or as a book to read about the Lord's Prayer and prayer in general, or as a very helpful bank of quotes and ideas to mine if preaching or writing about prayer...

An expert blend of what I would call a passion for the Lord's Prayer and an encouragement and celebration of prayer more generally. Throughout, as one might expect from someone who has both written about justice and marinated deeply in the Lord's Prayer, there is the throbbing beat of justice.

http://www.thomascreedy.com/book-review-living-the-prayer

Book details

  • ISBN: 9780857466235
  • Published: 17 November 2017
  • Status:
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 128
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