The Worship Quote of the Week for (02/26/2002):

Our Father in Heaven
Today’s WORSHIP QUOTE is from a short book on the Lord’s Prayer by N. T.
Wright, Canon Theologian at Westminster Abbey in London. Like many volumes
written by scholar/preachers, this book began its life as a series of
sermons—and here, a series on the prayer that our Lord left for us.

If we are serious at all about our Christian commitment, we will want to
learn and grow in prayer. When we kneel down or settle in the quiet chair
that serves as our personal place of prayer; when we’re walking along, or
riding in the train to work; whenever we pray, this is what we are coming to
do: to pursue the mystery, to listen and respond to the voice we thought we
just heard, to follow the light which beckons round the next corner, to lay
hold of the love of God which has somehow already laid hold of us.

We want all this, at our best, not because we selfishly want, as it were, to
maximize our own spiritual potential. To think that way would be to import
into our Christianity a very modern, materialist, self-centered ideology. No.
We want it because we know, in our heart of hearts, that we want the living
God. We want to know him; we want to love him. We want to be able truly to
call him Father.

— N. T. Wright, THE LORD AND HIS PRAYER. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1996, p. 11.
ISBN 0-8028-4320-4

[This is not to say that we are not often drawn to our knees when we are in
desperate physical, emotional or spiritual need; but rather to suggest that
at the heart of prayer is communion with God (as a needy and adoring child
with a loving father). The ultimate goal is not to have more stuff, or even
to feel better about ourselves; but to long for His will to be done in our
lives, to find our satisfaction entirely in Him.]

Have a great week,

Chip Stam
Director, Institute for Christian Worship
School of Church Music and Worship
Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
Louisville, Kentucky