ECONOMIC ERA (MATT. 6:9–13)1
Musa W. Dube
Professor Very Pius, if the Jesus' paradigmatic prayer (called the Lord's Prayer) has as its paramount concerns bread for subsistence in a time of hunger, relief from debt when an unjust debt structure crushed the people underfoot, and the establishment of God's sole sovereignty when the people's misery was largely the by-product of Caesar's imperial control, then why is the Lord's Prayer not also called the Lord's Paradigmatic Critique of Political Economy? The Lord's Model of Social Analysis? (Hendricks 1995: 79).
Prayer is an expression of wishes, dreams, hopes and needs. It expresses the vision one espouses for oneself, for one's family and friends, neighbours and communities, nations and creation at large. Thus praying is something that most people do. Yet what distinguishes prayer, from any other human desire, is that it is a human will in search of Divine partnership. To pray is to seek to merge one's vision and wishes with the Divine vision, for oneself and for others. From a Christian perspective, to pray is to constantly declare one's visions, availability, and commitment to seeking God's will for oneself and for others, including the earth, or God's creation at large. There are indeed many prayers and ways of praying, yet the Lord's Prayer is, undoubtedly, the most popular prayer among Christian communities. The Lord's Prayer is probably the most well-known and memorized text of the Christian Testament. Long before many Christian children can open and read the Bible for themselves, they have already been taught to memorize and recite the Lord's Prayer at home, church, and, in many cases, at school. I remember that it took me many years before I came to discover that the Lord's Prayer was a text in the Christian Testament even though I had recited it for as long as I could remember.____________________