On the Lord’s Prayer (Cyprian)

Cyprian, 3rd century CE

Before all else, the teacher of peace and master of unity desires that we should not make our prayer individually and alone, as whoever prays by himself prays only for himself. We do not say: “My father, who are in the heavens,” not “Give me my bread this day.” Nor does anybody request that his debt be pardoned for himself alone, nor ask that he alone be not led into temptation and delivered from the evil one. Our prayer is common and collective, and when we pray we pray not for one but for all people, because we are all one people together.

Cyprian, in On the Lord’s Prayer, trans. Alistair Stewart Sykes, St. Vladimir’s Seminary Press, New York, 2004, p. 69.

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