Charles Nathan Ridlehoover examines the Lord's Prayer in Matthew's Gospel, focusing on the prayer's centrality and showing how this centrality affects our reading of the Sermon on the Mount and subsequently, the prayer itself. Ridlehoover argues that the Lord's Prayer is structurally, lexically, and thematically central to the Sermon on the Mount, and the means through which disciples of Jesus are empowered to live out the kingdom righteousness it defines. In turn, the Sermon on the Mount clarifies what the answer to the petitions of the Lord's Prayer might look like in the life of the disciple of Jesus.
Whilst the centrality of the Lord's Prayer has been noted by previous commentators, this centrality and its intended purpose has not hitherto been defined or examined in great depth. Ridlehoover fills this gap with a closely argued and in-depth study, ranging from methodology and the structure of the prayer itself to examining the Father, will, forgiveness and evil petitions, and the relevance of word and deed for hearers and doers. Ridlehoover's examination of the relationship between the Sermon and Prayer advances studies in compositional criticism and intratextuality.