Unpacking the Lord’s Prayer.

by Christine Sine
Praying At Gethsemane - He Qi

Praying At Gethsemane – He Qi

Yesterday we posted John O’Keefe’s great narrative on the Lord’s Prayer. I, too, have been reflecting on this prayer over the last couple of weeks in conjunction with reading the section in E. Stanley Jones’ The Way, in which he unpacks the Lord’s prayer. I wrote this prayer/poem/discourse in response. I was particularly struck as read it this time by the corporate nature of the language. This is not a prayer that we can pray alone or live out alone. The language is “our” and us. Jones comments:

That “our” determines the nature of religion. Suppose it had been “my”? That would have changed the nature of religion. Instead of being social and we-centred, it would have been individual and I-centred. That would have started us off wrong, the whole prayer would come out wrong. That word “our” means a shifting of the emphasis from me to the Father and to my brothers (and sisters). p199.

Our Father,

Not mine alone but stretching beyond family, race, class, and religion,

Reaching to everyone everywhere.

Our Father,

The One who takes responsibility for us as family,

The One who cannot do anything but the loving thing,

Hallowed be your name.

May we reverence in thought and word and deed your name, your character,

May we see as holy the very nature of who you are.

Your kingdom come,

Your kingdom of peace, justice, wholeness and abundance.

May it come because we seek it above all else,

And put it in our prayers where Jesus did, first in consideration and allegiance.

Your will be done,

Your will for the only way that life is meant to work,

Your will for kingdom life to be revealed,

On earth as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread,

Give us this day our daily bread,

Not bread for me alone but for everyone, your entire human family

Not bread for the rest of my life but for today,

For we know that when we seek first your kingdom,

all these things – food, clothing, all we need- shall be added,

As and when we need them.

And forgive us our sins,

Forgive us our desires for luxuries that make others do without necessities,

Forgive us our holding onto tomorrow’s bread that should be shared today.

Forgive us as we forgive others, not resenting what they have, who they are,

how you have gifted them,

Lead us not into temptation but away from evil,

Guide us, all of us, until evil is not longer a temptation for us.

For yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory,

You still rule, now, in our world today,

You rule with kingdom power and kingdom glory.


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Claire Russell August 9, 2012 - 5:48 pm

Appreciate this – thank you!

Christine Sine August 9, 2012 - 6:47 pm

Your welcome

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