Here speaks the aspiring spirit to its Maker. This is the love-song of the Christian world. Few precepts of our Master, I suppose, have been more widely observed than that we are to " pray in this manner." For most of us that day would lack something in which the Lord's Prayer had not been repeated. It fits all circumstances. It is the chant of the saint in his most exultant moments, his refuge and solace when most depressed. The poor sinner, who through walking in the ways of vice has almost lost the power of aspiration and can no longer formulate for himself his better desires, finds in these sacred phrases his appropriate utterance.
Everywhere, indeed, the Prayer is used. And I believe we should be in error if we thought to disparage it by saying that for the most part it is repeated without our being distinctly aware of its meaning. In this I find no blame. It is a diseased and morbid condition of mind that seeks to be persistently conscious. Our home affections would not be the sweeteners of life that they are if we were asking ourselves perpetually "How much do I love these members of my household ?" We preserve sanity best by taking our daily affections as matters of happy course. And just so it is in our ordinary repetitions of the Lord's Prayer. In the common use of it we rise into a sacred atmosphere, where some one holier than we seems to be speaking for us. In its general meaning we partake, but we need not be anxious to search that meaning out.
George Herbert Palmer, The Lord's Prayer, Harvard Theological Review, April 1920