Wednesday, March 11, 2015

ANF V: Cyprian Treatise IV On the Lord's Prayer

Ante-Nicene Fathers Volume 5

Cyprian: Treatise IV On the Lord's Prayer

I'll admit that I skimmed this one in large part because I've already read in this volume. Still, it's worth a re-skimming, especially for Cyprian's comments on the nature of prayer itself. Again, we see that as with all of the Christian life, our prayers are to be shaped according to the rule established by Scripture:
Let us, therefore, brethren beloved, pray as God our Teacher has taught us. It is a loving and friendly prayer to beseech God with His own word, to come up to His ears in the prayer of Christ. Let the Father acknowledge the words of His Son when we make our prayer, and let Him also who dwells within our breast Himself dwell in our voice. And since we have Him as an Advocate with the Father for our sins, let us, when as sinners we petition on behalf of our sins, put forward the words of our Advocate.
Cyprian also gives some excellent advice as to what we should actually do when praying, namely we should 1) focus our thoughts and hearts on God rather than being distracted; 2) pray with substance rather than with superficial concerns; 3) remind God of the good works He has done through us, not because we are worthwhile but because God is generous; 4) be bold in reminding God of His promises, just as Daniel and the Three did in their time of need; 5) pray regularly, morning, evening, and night at the very least.

Overall, well worth reading.

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