Lord's Prayer

From Anthroposophy

The Lord's Prayer is the only prayer explicitly given by Christ Jesus to humanity, teaching us how to pray. It is unique also in the fact it as the most effective of prayers, it contains certain powers that make it an initiation prayer to develop spiritual faculties. It appears in the gospels of Matthew 6:9-13 and Luke 11:2-4.

It has seven petitions that correspond to the seven main bodily principles of Man, that mankind is developing in the current solar system evolution.

The fourth stage of the Earth corresponds to the fourth pivotal element of the I that gives self-consciousness. The principle that the Christ infused, pure love or budhi, is only for Mankind to develop fully on the planet Future Venus. However there will already be stages where this comes to the foreground, already on the next planetary stage of Future Jupiter, and even on Earth in the sixth epoch (after the 'war of all against all' that will conclude the fifth and Current Postatlantean epoch).

The guidelines in the Lord's Prayer pray to the divine spiritual realities and one's own higher self for the correct, appropriate, balanced, good development of all structural elements in our constitution, and it does this in the most simple form possible.

Aspects

  • see also: the Sermon on the Mount
  • the reverse prayer that Jesus heard at age of about 24 from Bath Kol, the spirit that had inspired Jewish prophets (1913-10-05-GA148)
  • the prayer given by Christ to the apostles after the resurrection (see 1916-01-02-GA165 below)
  • additional phrasing by Daskalos

Inspirational quote

1912-06-12-GA244 - Q&A 232.3

The Lord's prayer is [the most effective of prayers] and most suited in the highest degree as a daily prayer to develop spiritual faculties. ... Times will come, when the highness of the Lord's prayer will cause people not to allow themselves to pray the whole Lord's Prayer in one day. Man will have such a huge imagination [and conscious awareness] of the working together of the seven petitions, that one will not deem one's self worthy to unfold this great initiation prayer in one's heart every day.

Illustrations

Schema FMC00.095 below links the seven petitions of the Lord's Prayer to the seven principles of Man and the 'higher self' (triangle) and 'lower self', with short keywords of spiritual scientific concepts and meaning linked to each phrase. On the right the symbol of the rose cross. The Rosecrucian symbol shows the seven principles as roses (future evolution) arising against the background carrier of the black wooden cross (representing the dying).

FMC00.095.jpg

Lecture coverage and references

'The Lord's prayer : an esoteric study' in EN, or in DE: 'Das Vaterunser : eine esoterische Betrachtung' by Rudolf Steiner was previously published separately, but now part of GA096.

1907-01-28-GA096
1907-02-04-GA097
1907-02-18-GA096

mentions

the Lord's Prayer will still have meaning when thousands and thousands of years will have passed

1907-03-06-GA097

also covers the 'for yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory', explained as three stages in the realm of the spirit and specifically related (editor interpretation) to the three stages of a) SoW, SoM and SoF, b) the Cherubim and Seraphim, and c) the Godhead itself.

Note that as per FMC00.093, Power-Kingdom-Glory are the esoteric christian terms for CoC-CoL-CoF.

1910-02-17-GA059

is on the nature of prayer

1912-06-12-GA244 - Q&A 232.3

The Lord's prayer is in most suited in the highest degree as a daily prayer to develop spiritual faculties. It is the most effective of prayers. The more respect and devotion one has for this prayer, the better for one's consciousness oul.

Even when Man prays and knows nothing of all this, still at the basis of this prayer lie powers that are the forces of origin of Man. The one who taught mankind this prayer knew these forces, and the person who uses this prayer can have these forces living in one's self unconsciously.

The more one enters in this prayer, the more the respect for it grows ever more.

Times will come, when the highness of the Lord's prayer will cause people not to allow themselves to pray the whole Lord's Prayer in one day. Man will have such a huge imagination [and conscious awareness] of the working together of the seven petitions, that one will not deem one's self worthy to unfold this great initiation prayer in one's heart every day.

The reverse prayer

1913-10-05-GA148

in the Fifth Gospel tells about a scene in Jesus life at about age 24, an experience of hearing Bath Kol (the spirit that had inspired Jewish prophets) with the words which represents the reverse of the Lord's Prayer.

Occult obligations exist! And following one such occult obligation I disclosed what Jesus of Nazareth heard from the transformed voice of Bath Kol. He heard the words:

AUM, Amen!

Evil rules,

Witness of the severing I,

Selfhood's guilt by others owed,

In daily bread now felt,

In which heaven's will be not done,

For man deserted your kingdom,

And forgot your names,

You fathers in the heavens.

A prayer after MoG

1916-01-02-GA165

contains a prayer by Christ after the Mystery of Golgotha, as pointed out after the prayer text (for background see also the page 'After the resurrection'),

‘Oh, ye Powers in the spiritual world,

let me in my physical body be conscious in the world of Light,

let me be in the Light so as to perceive my own light-body,

and let not the power of the Ahrimanic forces be too strong for me,

so as to prevent me from beholding what takes place in my light-body.’

Once more I will repeat what a soul by whom these Powers are to some extent recognised in the spiritual world, might say in longing, in a kind of prayer:

‘Oh, ye Powers,

let me consciously, in the light,

from out of and by the light behold the occurrences within my own light-body;

weaken and take away the power of the Ahrimanic forces which obscure them.

Let me consciously by the light perceive my own light,

and remove the force that hinders me from seeing the light from out of and by the light.’

What I have just repeated to you is not simply an invented prayer, but it was thus that Christ taught those to pray who were able to understand Him after He had passed through the Mystery of Golgotha, during that time when He still lingered among His most intimate disciples.

..

These things were learnt by the intimate disciples of Jesus Christ during the time I have indicated. They were well aware how all things I have mentioned were brought about, and were instructed in all these matters during the time that Christ held intercourse with them after the Mystery of Golgotha.

Discussion

As described in 1907-02-04-GA097: essential in prayer is the basic mood of 'not my will but your will be done', giving ourselves up to the will of the divine rather than our egotistical desires originating from wishes, wants, needs. The seven petitions 'start with the end in mind' .. atman, the will .. sacrifice as the purpose of evolution.

Related pages

References and further reading

  • Friedrich Rittelmeyer:
    • 'Das Vaterunser : zehn Kanzelreden' (1919)
    • 'Das Vaterunser - ein Weg zur Menschwerdung' (1935, 1985)
  • Heinrich Ogilvie (1899–1988): 'The Lord's Prayer' (in EN 1978, original in NL 1938 'Beschouwingen over het Onze Vader')
  • Fred Poeppig: Das Vaterunser als Menschheits- und Erkenntnisgebet (1956)
  • Alfred Hoppe: 'Betrachtungen zum Vaterunser' (1968)
  • Karl Friedrich Althoff: 'Das Vaterunser : die Wortgestalt des Menschheitsgebetes auf ihrem Weg durch die Kulturen der Völker' (1978)
  • Valentin Tomberg: The course on the Lord's Prayer, Vol. 1 to 4 (original 1940-1942, published in EN 2008-2016, more info on tombergbooks.com)
    • The Lord’s Prayer Course is a course in Christian esoteric schooling that was given originally by Valentin Tomberg to a small group of people in the Netherlands (Amsterdam) during the Second World War between 1940 and 1942. The English version is a translation from the edition published by initiate and Tomberg pupil Willi Seiss. It appeared in the 1980’s for distribution among friends, and from 2008 for a more general readership within the German-speaking world.
    • The Course on the Lord’s Prayer was formed in such a way, that the address and the Petitions of this prayer communicated by Christ were studied and meditated in weekly rhythms. In this process, the Petitions determined in each case [make up] the course of the exercise, while the corresponding days of the week were used for ongoing deepening in study and meditation. The Course begins with an overview of the entire content. This overview includes at the same time daily work involving a first reading through the whole Prayer. The pupil takes his orientation every time anew from this overview, when a further week’s work is about to begin.
  • Judith von Halle: 'Das Vaterunser. Das lebendige Wort Gottes' (2006 in DE, in NL 2008 as 'Het Onze Vader : het levende woord van God')
  • Peter Selg: 'The Lord's Prayer and Rudolf Steiner' (2014 in EN, original 2009 in DE: 'Das Vaterunser in der Darstellung Rudolf Steiners')
  • Viktor Stracke: 'Das Vaterunser und die Figuren der Rosenkreuzer' (2015)