You can guess by now that I think highly of Scot McKnight's book, The Jesus Creed: Loving God, Loving Others. In it he has a chapter on praying that creed that we looked at in the last posting.
We call this prayer (Matthew 6:9-13), "the Lord's prayer", a title that has been given to it by the Church. But often it is lightly esteemed. Many of those raised in liturgical churches grew tired of what seemed to be (and too often can become) an empty, ritualistic recitation of it. Those of us raised in nonliturgical churches tend to disdain any such recitative praying, believing in prayer "from the heart"- or spontaneous prayers. Recently on Scot McKnight's blog, "Jesus Creed", we had a stimulating conversation on this subject: http://www.jesuscreed.org/?p=627#comments
I'm confident Scripturally that this is not a case of either/or, but and/both. So this prayer, given by Jesus to his disciples in answer to their request to teach them how to pray (Luke 11:1-4) ought not to be neglected for one reason or another, as it often has by us. We who belong to the community of Jesus ought to recite it, and it ought to have more impact on our prayer lives.
Prayer is not easy. As Scot McKnight says, so refreshingly, in his book, it is often hard, though being an intrical part of our love relationship with God. This prayer was given to us as God's prayer for us. It runs counter to our own often self-centered and misguided prayers to God. It can help shape our spontaneous praying to God. (Most of the thoughts here are from Scot's book, The Jesus Creed: Loving God, Loving Others. http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1557254001/102-6778254-2562556?v=glance&n=283155 )