Heart Condition

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.

Amen

12 comments

  1. Just read this over again…it is absolutely beautiful…

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    1. Thank you and bless you. Means so much.

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  2. Thanks for sharing, Susan Irene. I came here after seeing your comment on Jon Acuff. It is powerful when we take the inspired Word and allow it to become flesh and dwell among us… it into our lives today. What does it mean to me today? All the vested power in the Word ! Amen. We can receive so much more when we ‘chew’ on just one phrase of one verse and allow God to speak deeper than the black-and-white written word. All the way down to the truth that sets entirely free. Amen! Thanks again for writing.

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    1. Arlen, you are so welcome. This one in particular has really moved me. Yes, chewing, digesting and fully allowing it to become a part of us – that’s what abiding in Him means to me, too. Thank you for coming to visit. It means a lot.

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  3. Hi Susan – been offline the whole weekend – SO SORRY I missed your message 😦 Battling to keep up just at the moment. Had to drop something …and wordpress had to be it sadly :/

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    1. Yes, I’ve missed you! Just emailed back. Glad to hear from you, my friend.

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  4. Hi Susan. Think this was a wonderful exercise. What your post prompted in terms of my own thoughts was that I don’t think the original can be improved upon (I know that’s not what you were doing).

    It’s like that famous quote from the book “The Little Prince:” perfection is achieved, not when there’s nothing left to add, but when there’s nothing left to take away.” (Hope I got that right – working from memory.)

    The Lord’s Prayer, issue of translation notwithstanding, is perfect. There is nothing left to take away. It is the quintessential consolidated checklist of what is righteous to ask of God in the Christian context. It instills the doctrines of forgiveness, non-materialism, acceptance, deference, and avoiding that which tempts deviation from a decent life.

    Hard to find a better life doctrine in fewer words. Impossible in fact, except possibly to love your God with all your heart, and your neighbour as you would yourself.

    I would suggest that the Lord’s Prayer is not something to be over-thought. It’s beauty and genius lies in its honest simplicity; just embrace it, as is. Nothing further required.

    Be well.

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    1. You’re absolutely right; nothing Jesus said can be improved upon. I think sometimes when we say certain prayers that we repeat all the time, they tend to get rote. Just like hymns, we stop thinking about the words and the meaning behind them. Love the way you put it: “It instills the doctrines of forgiveness, non-materialism, acceptance, deference, and avoiding that which tempts deviation from a decent life.” I would add love to that. Amen.

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      1. You are so right. Above all else, love.

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  5. This is a wonderful way to be mindful of the way Jesus would have us to be. We say this prayer in church each Sunday and sometimes I wonder if we truly think about the meaning. Thank you for your thoughtful interpretation of a prayer we sometimes mechanically recite. Many blessings to you my sister in Christ.

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    1. Thank you. You totally got what I was trying to do. Love you and so appreciate your comments.

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