The Lord s Prayer is arguably the most important prayer in Christianity. Still, exactly how the prayer developed in the life of the early church has remained hidden in ancient manuscripts. Hammerling s thorough and ground-breaking examination of these works reveals that early authors enthusiastically expounded upon its power and mystery, claiming that the prayer uttered by Christ belonged at the core of Christian ritual and beliefs. Many early church writers labeled it a perfect summary of the gospel and joyously referred to it as a pearl of great price and worth.
ROY HAMMERLING is an Associate Professor of Religion at Concordia College in Moorhead, USA.