Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness, and all things shall be added unto you (Matt. 6:33)

Category — Lord’s Prayer from the New Testament

Third Sermon on the Lord’s Prayer

“Give us this day our daily bread.” (Matthew 6:11.)

Or in the order of the Greek, “Our bread the daily give us this day.”

Bread, or loaf, stands for food, and when it stands alone it includes drink as well; thus it represents all the things of love and wisdom, all things of the good and the true, of cognitions and scientifics, by which the spiritual body is fed.

After praying, “Thy Kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven so upon the land,” man looks to his cooperation with the Lord as if from himself, and thus towards the coming of the Lord’s Kingdom. But in order that man may cooperate as of himself towards this end he must have a spiritual body, which can cooperate. If man regenerates he receives the initiament of such a body, but this body must be fed from day to day with celestial food, in order that it may grow, and become strong, and in order that it may recover when sick.

This broad must be received doily, or day by day. Day by day, or daily, signifies into the eternal, an eternal series of states following each other, according to the Divine order of Providence. No man can foresee, know, or understand this Divine series, and hence cannot provide for it. The Lord alone can foresee and provide, and the Lord in His Divine Providence does so. The daily bread therefore represents the Divine Providence.

Because man does not know the future, and therefore can not provide for the future, the Lord says: “Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat or what ye shall drink.” (Matt. 6:25)

The Divine Providence is in the least particular and singular things, as well as in the generals, and in such least thing it provides for the succeeding state, in an eternal series. This is the miracle of miracles. Man’s prayer should be that in each day or state he should be kept in the stream of Providence, so that living in the present he may find the spiritual food that is necessary for that state, and be thus kept in the stream which loads from day to day according to the Divine Order into the Lord’s eternal life.

Providence is threefold: it operates immediately from the Lord into the soul of man; it operates mediately through the heavens and the spiritual world into the mind; and it operates from without through the natural body which is in the world. The immediate operation into the soul is above the consciousness of men and angels. Man or angel cannot perceive this operation, but he can believe in it. The operation of the spiritual world into the mind most men are totally unaware of, but if one reflects on one’s affections and thoughts, which are all from the spiritual world, in the light of Doctrine, one can come to perceive this operation of the Divine Providence. In fact this should become with man s primary thing.

When most people speak of the Divine Providence they think solely of its operation from without, that is, of things which happen to them from without.

As long as one views Providence in this way one has only s natural idea of the Divine Providence. There is nothing indeed, not the least thing which happens to man, which is not of the Divine Providence, or of the Divine Permission, which is also of Providence. But this operation of Providence apart from the other two operations could not save a man. The three operations of Providence work together so as to make one operation of the Divine Providence. Without this one operation which is threefold there could be no provision of man’s daily broad, and thereby for his spiritual life.

Read the full third sermon on the Lord’s Prayer by Rev. Theodore Pitcairn


Second Sermon on the Lord’s Prayer


“Thy Kingdom come, Thy Will be done, as in heaven so upon the earth.” (Matthew 6: 10.)

Before considering our text for today, let us review the first words of the Prayer, “Our Father who art in the heavens, hallowed be Thy Name.” As we said in our last sermon, Our Father, or Father of us, stands for the Lord as the Divine Love, thus the Lord as the Esse, Being and Life of all in heaven and in the Church. To call the Lord our Father signifies a desire to become His children by means of re-birth or regeneration. To become tho Lord’s childron is to be in innocence.

Concerning innocence we read: “The nature of innocence may be seen in a mirror from little children, in that they love their parents and trust in them alone, having no care but to please them; and accordingly they have food and clothing not merely for their needs, but also for their delight; and as they love their parents they do with tho delight of affection whatever is agreeable to them, thus not only what they command but also what they suppose them to wish to command, and moreover have no self regard whatever, not to mention many other characteristics of infancy. But it is known that the innocence of little children is not innocence, but only its semblance. Innocence itself dwells solely in wisdom… and wisdom consists in bearing oneself towards the Lord, out of the good of love and of faith, as do little children towards their parents in the way just stated.” (A.C.6107.)

It is only out of such innocence one can know and believe the Name of the Lord and hallow it. The Name of the Lord, as is known, is the Word and Doctrine thence, that is, it is the Genuine understanding of the Word. None others than those who are in innocence can believe in the Word genuinely understood and hallow and sanctify the true, which is the Lord’s Name. Such alone are in Doctrine which is spiritual from a celestial origin.

When such Doctrine, in the internal of the mind, comes into existance out of celestial innocence, there is a looking towards tho bringing of this Doctrine down into natural life; whorefore tho next words of tho Prayer are, “Thy Kingdom come.” The Lord as the Divine Love is “Our Father who art in heaven.” The Lord as the Divine True of Doctrine is the King. The word Kingdom implies a king who reigns.

The Kingdom consists of all who obey the Lord as the Divine True, thus all who obey the laws of tho Divine True which are the laws of His Kingdom or Church. Man therefore, after saying “Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy Name,” prays for the coming of the Lord’s Kingdom. In this state it is a prayer; for many things must be fulfilled before the Kingdom can come. It is only at the end of the prayer that it is said, “Thine is the Kingdom.” Between the prayer, “Thy Kingdom come,” and the fulfillment “Thine is the Kingdom,” the rest of tho Prayer must be fulfilled, namely, “Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts as we also forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.”

“Our Father who art in the heavens, hallowed be Thy Name,” is the reception of the Lord in the inmost of the mind. “Thy Kingdom, in the heavens” is the rational as a receptacle of the Divine True of the Lord. “Thy Kingdom, on earth” is the natural as a receptacle of the Divine True of the Lord.

When the rational mind, not only in generals, but in particulars and singulars, looks continually to the Lord, and His Word, so that all the thinking from day to day and moment to moment is a praise and glorification of the Lord, and is a thanksgiving for His Mercy, then the Lord’s Kingdom is established in the Kingdom of heaven, which is within him. The internal Church is constituted of those who are in this Kingdom of heaven.

Read the full second sermon on the Lord’s Prayer by Rev. Theodore Pitcairn



The Lord’s Prayer: a series of sermons


“Our Father who art in the Heavens, hallowed be Thy Name.” (Matt. 6:9)

While we preached a series of sermons on the Lord’s Prayer some years ago, the most essential things of worship are of such great importance that it is good to reconsider them from time to time; we will therefore again take the Lord’s Prayer as a text for this and the following sermons.

Swedenborg once saw the Lord’s Prayer represented as a pyramid commencing from the highest point and descending to its base. In the Greek the Prayer commences with the word “[pater]*” “Father.” Father represents the Lord as the Divine Love, thus the Lord as the source of all things. It is the Lord’s Divine Love which rules in all things of the Prayer. It spooks of Our Father who art in the heavens. The Lord is present in the Heavens as Divine Love in Human form; or what is the same, He has His dwelling place in the inmost reception of the human mind, that is, in the celestial degree, whence comes the Doctrine which is the Name of the Lord, and which is spiritual from a coеlestial origin. The second phrase of the Lord’s Prayer is therefore, “Hallowed be Thy Name.”

The Prayer commences with “Our Father” of “Father of us.” Calling the Lord “Our Father” expresses a desire to be His children. The Lord in a sense is the Father of all, both the good and the evil, but with the evil the Lord above the Heavens is their Father; where there is no reception of the Lord’s Divine Love, Ho is not their “Father in the Heavens.” It is only by regeneration that men become the children of Their Father in the Heavens.

To desire to be truly the children of the Lord, implies a desire not to be led by oneself, but by the Lord it implies an acknowledgment that one has neither the strength nor the wisdom to lead oneself; it also implies a total trust that the Lord provides everything necessary with infinite Love and Wisdom and that man can provide nothing. It implies that man willingly and with Love accepts all things whether they be obvious blessings, or punishments and temptations, as being in the Mercy of the Lord, and necessary for the salvation of the man. The evil as well as the good are willing to ascribe their obvious blessings to God; but only the good are willing to perceive and love their trials, their punishments, their sorrows, the apparent rejection of their prayers, as being of the Mercy of the Lord for the sake of their salvation; not that such things are from the Lord, but they are in the Mercy of the Lord for the sake of the salvation of man.

In the other world many from the Christian world commence by worshipping the Lord, but when they come into trials, when their prayers are not answered, when the Lord appears to shame them, they first resent the things of the Lord, and afterwards hate the Lord. A man or woman of the Church will not consciously to himself hate the Lord. Yet he may hate the things of the Lord in another; particularly will he hate the true things of justice in so far as they shame him, and deprive him of what he considers his duo, his honor, and his just reward. In so far as one hates these true things of justice in another, so far in the other life he comes into open hatred of the Lord.

Read the first sermon on the Lord’s Prayer by Rev. Theodore Pitcairn
Read the second sermon on the Lord’s Prayer by Rev. Theodore Pitcairn
Read the third sermon on the Lord’s Prayer by Rev. Theodore Pitcairn
Read the fourth sermon on the Lord’s Prayer by Rev. Theodore Pitcairn
Read the fifth sermon on the Lord’s Prayer by Rev. Theodore Pitcairn
Read the sixth sermon on the Lord’s Prayer by Rev. Theodore Pitcairn