The Lord’s Prayer
I’ve been thinking a lot about The Lord’s Prayer lately. The one that Jesus taught his disciples. Those five short verses. The ones he spoke before the Christian church was formed; before the Nicene Creed; before the massive internal division came. Before we did more harm than good.
The prayer Jesus taught us when Jew lived beside Gentile, when all those who believed in One God were in accord. This was the prayer Jesus taught about honoring the One God, the One Creator who created all of us; Christian, Jew, Muslim, Buddhist, atheist, straight, gay, American, Syrian, Israeli, Palestinian, Brit, Egyptian, African, Indian, Italian.
That Lord’s Prayer.
You know the one. The one that begins with OUR Father.
9 Our Father in Heaven,
Hallowed be your name.
10 Your kingdom come
Your will be done
On earth as it is in heaven.
11 Give us this day our daily bread,
12 And forgive us our debts
As we forgive those indebted to us.
13 And let us not be tempted,
But deliver us from evil.
As I read and reread these words, I decided to write them in my own words to drive them home to myself, to ensure that I understand exactly what is meant by them. To recommit to praying the prayer, walking it, and believing it.
In My Own Words
9 Our Heavenly Father, Father of all Your creation, Father and Creator of those with whom I disagree or don’t understand or may not even accept, I trust You and honor Your wisdom – greater and higher than my own –to love and accept us all.
10 I pray Your will, not mine, be done here on earth. I pray Your desires become my desires, Your heart becomes my heart. I pray to be that I become that blessed peacemaker, that I see other people through Your eyes, and that I remain open so You can work through me and shine Your love through me.
11 Lord, please provide me today with the physical sustenance and strength, and the spiritual bread and wisdom that I need from You. Flood me to overflowing with Your Living Water, Lord, that I might quench the thirst of others today.
12 Lord, each day I do not follow your commands to love You and love others, I incur debt, yet You forgive that debt every new morning. I owe it to others to forgive their debt to me as well, from slight to egregious, because You bless me with unending mercy and grace. Because Jesus paid the ultimate price.
13 Father, please keep me away from temptation, those things that take my focus off of You. Keep me safe from my own unwise decisions. Please protect me from the evil that lurks outside myself that can take me down, for I need Your strength to overcome my past, my fear, and that voice that tries to lure me away from Your own, quiet whisper that says, “I love you.”
Lord, I pray today that Christians will remember the two commands of Jesus – to love You, thereby honoring who You are – a God who loves immeasurably more than our hearts and minds can image. To love others and show that love the way Jesus did – welcoming people who society cast away as unacceptable, showing acceptance where others derided or bullied, inviting to the table when others declined to share.