“The Lord’s Prayer can be spoken at the cradle or the grave. It can rise from the altars of great cathedrals and from the dark hovels of those who ‘eat their bread with tears’. It can be prayed at weddings and on the gallows. All seven colours of our life are contained in it, and so there is never a time when we are left alone.”
In these sermons delivered in the shattered city of Stuttgart during the last days of the Second World War, Helmut Thielicke examined the Lord’s Prayer phrase by phrase, drawing from it both immediate comfort and inspiration for the future. As he expounded upon the inner meaning of the familiar phrases, he enabled his despairing congregation to share in this promise of hope – to see the world in a new way, through prayer. Today, for those who are prepared to listen, his words still carry the same power.
Originally translated by the American Lutheran theologian John W. Doberstein, this reprinted edition of The Prayer That Spans the World was published to commemorate the thirtieth anniversary of Helmut Thielicke’s death.
About the Author
Helmut Thielicke was one of the most outstanding preachers and theologians of the German Lutheran Church. Dismissed by the Nazi regime from his post of Professor of Theology at Heidelberg in 1940, he came to prominence in Stuttgart where, during the worst of the bombing raids and in spite of continuing Nazi opposition, he continued to preach to a congregation of several thousand each week.
After the war, he joined the faculty of the University of Tübingen as a Professor of Systematic Theology, later becoming Rector at the University of Hamburg, the first Protestant theologian to hold this position. During this time, he also became a world traveller, lecturing and preaching in the United States, South Africa, Australia and Latin America. He died in Hamburg in 1986.
To the Reader
I. Our Father, Who Art in Heaven: Part One
II. Our Father, Who Art in Heaven: Part Two
III. Hallowed Be Thy Name
IV. Thy Kingdom Come
V. Thy Will Be Done on Earth, As It Is in Heaven
VI. Give Us This Day Our Daily Bread
VII. Forgive Us Our Debts, As We Also Have Forgiven Our Debtors: Part One
VIII. Forgive Us Our Debts, As We Also Have Forgiven Our Debtors: Part Two
IX. Lead Us Not into Temptation
X. Deliver Us from Evil
XI. For Thine Is the Kingdom and the Power and the Glory, Forever, Amen.
Endorsements and Reviews
Here is a great preacher making the deepest truths plain with a passionate conviction. He carries the Lord’s Prayer into the practicalities of out life today.
Life and Work