120 Abba/Father

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This page is part of the Jesus Database series and relates especially to 120 The Lords Prayer

For comments on specific petitions, see:

120 Abba/Father | 120 Your name be holy | 120 Impose your imperial rule | 120 Bread for today | 120 Forgiveness shared | 120 Save us from the time of trial

Taussig does not include this petition in the prayer fragments that he traces back to Jesus, but he does note that the wisdom tradition in Israel gives many examples of sages praying for protection from trials and ordeals. He cites the following examples:

Lord father and master of my life,

Do not abandon me to their whims,
Do not let me fall because of them.
[Ben Sira 23:1]

God, examine me and know my heart.
Test me and know my concerns.
Make sure that I am not on my way to ruin.
[Psalm 139:23]

God of our ancestors, Lord of mercy ...
grant me Wisdom, consort of your throne
and do not reject me from the number of your children.
Send her forth from your throne of glory to help me
and to toil with me.
[WisSol 9:1a,4,10a]

My lord father,
Do not desert me in the days of ordeal.

[Ben Sira 51:10]

The questions that occur as we begin to reflect on this passage include:

  • Is this a prayer for protection, or for wisdom to live wisely?
  • Is it a prayer for strength to cope, or a request to be rescued from pressure?
  • How do we pray such a prayer from positions of relative comfort and security?
  • How does a “hunger and thirst for justice” connect with such a petition?