Praying as a Community

Blue CrossThe Lord’s prayer has traditionally been given substantial weight and assigned great importance because it is the prayer that Jesus taught his disciples (and by extension, all Christians) to pray. Today I received a quote from Sojourners that reminded me of an important, but often overlooked, detail of that prayer.

“It is not for oneself alone that each person asks to be forgiven, not to be led into temptation, or to be delivered from evil. Rather, we pray in public as a community, and not for one individual but for all.” — Cyprian of Carthage

This doesn’t mean that we can’t pray the Lord’s Prayer aloud or silently when we’re by ourselves. But it does mean we should always keep in mind that we do not pray it alone and that there is a collective, communal element of our faith. We do not travel by ourselves. Through the power of the Holy Spirit, we are all in this together.