I grew up with the understanding that reciting the Lord’s Prayer, or reciting prayers was of no value. But I have undergone a change over time to come to accept and even find help in liturgical practice.
As I read somewhere, such practice is not dependent on our whims. Nor is it based on our experience. It is instead based on the revelation of God in Christ. And on wisdom God has given to the church.
I find that reciting the Lord’s/our Father prayer, and the Jesus Creed helps center me on the Lord and his will. Besides, in the Jesus Creed we’re reminded what is most important in our lives. And in the Lord’s/our Father prayer we’re using the words Jesus gave us for how we should pray.
I will sometimes do this over and over and over. With my kind of work I can do that while able to do what I need to do. I will alternate back and forth between the two. And I’ve found at times that sooner or later I’m praying other kinds of prayers for those in need, etc.
Recitation. It can be good. It is done as if a prayer, or in the spirit of prayer to God that he would make the words real to ourselves. That, as I’ve read somewhere (N.T. Wright, I think) in better words than this, we would grow into the meaning of that prayer.
This is what I often do, especially when distracted from the Lord, or tempted to give in to anxiety, or when I have, or any other sin. And it’s good to be able to recite scripture passages, sometimes I recite the armor of God passage in Ephesians 6.
Below are the two passages mentioned in this post which I often repeat:
“The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. 30 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ 31 The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”
9 “This, then, is how you should pray:
“‘Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
10 your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
11 Give us today our daily bread.
12 And forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
13 And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one,
for yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.’