The Lord's Prayer

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jimkenney12

Well-Known Member
Pronouns
He/Him/His
When I was in transitional ministry at one church, I used a revised Lord's Prayer in one service. I was almost tarred and feathered. When I used a revised form at Deep River, I was only asked by some members to include the traditional form so a revised version was used early in the service and the traditional version was, and is used before the last hymn.

Here is my last revised version.
Holy Mystery, you are more than we can understand. Let your love that shapes the world shape how people live. Thank you for the food we we eat. Thank you for helping us forgive and accept forgiveness. Thank you for leading us past distraction and keep us safe. For you live and power fill the world with glory, now and forever. Amen.

I am interested in how others might like to revise the prayer and how you like or do not like the Lord's Prayer used in worship.
 
I'm often surprised (though I guess I shouldn't be) how many people seem to think that a first-century Aramaic-speaking Jew taught his followers to offer a prayer in Elizabethan English. I try not to laugh or roll my eyes when I hear people speak of the "original" Lord's Prayer.

One charge I served, when we offered the Lord's Prayer, sang it as it is on VU # 959. Wish more people and churches would use that text and that tune.
 
We have often used Jim Carver's paraphrase. VU 916. Or the sung versions. All are good but I understand the attachment to the traditional version. Who cares if it's in Elizabethan English? It's been part of our faith tradition for centuries. Not easy for everyone to let it go.
 
My personal problem with the traditional version is the beginning. I choke on "Our Father", and say Creating Godde instead.

I really like Jim Carver's paraphrase, except for one phrase, which I find awkward, "In the hurts we absorb from one another, forgive us".
 
Holy Mystery, you are more than we can understand. Let your love that shapes the world shape how people live. Thank you for the food we we eat. Thank you for helping us forgive and accept forgiveness. Thank you for leading us past distraction and keep us safe. For you live and power fill the world with glory, now and forever. Amen.
I like this but can see how it would cause upset for those who grew up with the King James version of it. And the KJ Lord's Prayer is a magnificent piece of poetry, just dated and I am not sure how it holds up as a translation. Like Bette, I would tend to replace "Our Father" with "Our God" or "Our Creator" or something. Though "Our Parent" probably keep the original meaning better, I'm just not fond of it. It doesn't have the emotional heft of "Father" or "Mother". Rev. Naomi King (UU minister who does her ministry online since she has disabilities that keep her from doing physical ministry) has some wonderful terms that she uses in her #chalicein and #chaliceout tweets. Some of them might be usable as a substitute.
 
Jesus never intended the Lord's Prayer to be regularly recited liturgically. Rather, He intended it as a model for how to pray and introduced it like this: "Pray then like this." So we need to focus on how it serves as a model. The modern version Jim offered falls fall short of the intended model. I did a 3 week series on the Lord's Prayer because, though my people wanted me to conclude my pastoral prayer by leading them in the Lord's Prayer, they had a very poor grasp of what it meant.

"Our Father who art in Heaven:" "Abba" is an intimate Aramaic term for God (similar to "Dad") and implies the need to pray from an intimate personal relationship. Note that non-gender circumlocutions that eliminate this intimate term (e.g. our Creator") disobey Jesus' intent.

"Hallowed be Thy name" = Let your name by reserved for special reverence." Thus, Jews traditionally never pronounce Yahweh's name. Real prayer is bathed in an experience of awe and wonder.

"Thy kingdom come:" the Aramaic for "kingdom" is "malkuth" and connotes both "reign" and "realm." Before petitions can transcend impotent political correctness, we need to experience the reign of God in our church and our lives and not take it for granted. Jesus taught that the "realm" of God can be experientially remote from us and so must be regularly summoned. Thus, Jesus could say things like "You are not far from the realm of God: and "the realm of God is in your midst."

"Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven:" Petitionary prayer should be preceded by a longing to know God's will because prayer will be ineffective if we treat God like a cosmic slot machine.

"Give us this day our daily bread: = literally, "Give us today our bread for the coming day." We ask God to meet our needs for the coming day and then keep repeating that as the days roll by. There is a short warrantee on the effectiveness of our prayers to meet needs!

"Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors:" Jesus make it clear that our prayers will be ineffective if we harbor grudges. God will forgive us only if we forgive those who wrong us. "Sin" is a debt that must be paid to God in the form of repentance and reconciliation both with God and humanity.

"And lead us not into the test:"
"Test" is more accurate than "temptation." We ask God to refrain from doing something that He otherwise might do! Depending on our relationship with Him, God might lead us into a situation of severe trial, unless we regularly ask for His protection and guidance. So we need to regularly ask God to learn spiritual lessons to prevent this and thus to find a relatively pain-free path to spiritual growth. God does not Himself test us (James 1:12-13), but puts us in situations where we can be severely tested by others.

"But deliver us from the Evil One (not "from evil"):" Not from abstract evil, but from dark spiritual forces. Jesus believed in Satan and demons.
 
Jesus never intended the Lord's Prayer to be regularly recited liturgically. Rather, He intended it as a model for how to pray and introduced it like this: "Pray then like this." So we need to focus on how it serves as a model. The modern version Jim offered falls fall short of the intended model. I did a 3 week series on the Lord's Prayer because, though my people wanted me to conclude my pastoral prayer by leading them in the Lord's Prayer, they had a very poor grasp of what it meant.

"Our Father who art in Heaven:" "Abba" is an intimate Aramaic term for God (similar to "Dad") and implies the need to pray from an intimate personal relationship. Note that non-gender circumlocutions that eliminate this intimate term (e.g. our Creator") disobey Jesus' intent.

"Hallowed be Thy name" = Let your name by reserved for special reverence." Thus, Jews traditionally never pronounce Yahweh's name. Real prayer is bathed in an experience of awe and wonder.

"Thy kingdom come:" the Aramaic for "kingdom" is "malkuth" and connotes both "reign" and "realm." Before petitions can transcend impotent political correctness, we need to experience the reign of God in our church and our lives and not take it for granted. Jesus taught that the "realm" of God can be experientially remote from us and so must be regularly summoned. Thus, Jesus could say things like "You are not far from the realm of God: and "the realm of God is in your midst."

"Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven:" Petitionary prayer should be preceded by a longing to know God's will because prayer will be ineffective if we treat God like a cosmic slot machine.

"Give us this day our daily bread: = literally, "Give us today our bread for the coming day." We ask God to meet our needs for the coming day and then keep repeating that as the days roll by. There is a short warrantee on the effectiveness of our prayers to meet needs!

"Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors:" Jesus make it clear that our prayers will be ineffective if we harbor grudges. God will forgive us only if we forgive those who wrong us. "Sin" is a debt that must be paid to God in the form of repentance and reconciliation both with God and humanity.

"And lead us not into the test:"
"Test" is more accurate than "temptation." We ask God to refrain from doing something that He otherwise might do! Depending on our relationship with Him, God might lead us into a situation of severe trial, unless we regularly ask for His protection and guidance. So we need to regularly ask God to learn spiritual lessons to prevent this and thus to find a relatively pain-free path to spiritual growth. God does not Himself test us (James 1:12-13), but puts us in situations where we can be severely tested by others.

"But deliver us from the Evil One (not "from evil"):" Not from abstract evil, but from dark spiritual forces. Jesus believed in Satan and demons.

Or as an enlightened one from the veil of naivete! Can the ability to enlighten be blinded by the fabric of avarice?

Some stoic creatures say it is best not to know anything more than what is doled out by the powers ... some of them pretty shady in their attempts to control all things and put god in a box! Imagine Libra ... freedom of virtue and bad natured essences locked up ... stinkers?
 
Jesus never intended the Lord's Prayer to be regularly recited liturgically. Rather, He intended it as a model for how to pray and introduced it like this: "Pray then like this." So we need to focus on how it serves as a model.
THis. So Much this. At times I wonder if the weekly recitation of the Lord's PRayer has become something of an idol> THen again a prayer that is memorized and shared across multiple faith communities has proven to be a great unifier. SO I can see a role for it but I question why we have to have it every Sunday.
 
Jesus never intended the Lord's Prayer to be regularly recited liturgically.
I think this is a point that rarely gets discussed. Liturgy is entirely the creation of the church. Even Paul does not actually talk much about it and Jesus said little or nothing that I recall that speaks directly to communal worship practice (though he did attend synagogue so must have had some thoughts on it). What he did talk about a lot was individual devotion, including how to (and how not to) pray. Somehow I suspect that Jesus walking into a modern church, esp. those with complex liturgies, would probably be unimpressed.
 
..just not sure why our ages are required on it?

THen again a prayer that is memorized and shared across multiple faith communities has proven to be a great unifier.
I don’t care much about the King James translation of the Lord’s prayer, but I felt more included in Canadian worship when I heard a prayer that is recognized internationally. I used to think about my family and the people around the world joining in worship on Sundays when the Lord’s prayer was said.
 
I actually think it's a good thing to switch it up for newcomers.
It's assumed just everyone knows it, and I have been with people who do not.

I've been in a similar situation at a funeral with the Serenity Prayer, I am certainly familiar with the general statement. Did I know it completely word for word? Nope. Feels a bit awkward when most other people don't need to pull out the sheet, but at least with that the expectation was lowered compared with the Lord;s Prayer in most services I have seen.
 
I find myself easily bored - so I do appreciate the introduction of alternate wordings. We most often used the VU #959 version in our worship at my forner church - I like it. Below is a more varied one I favour too - (what IS 'hallowed be thy name' tho? Do we ever use 'hallowed' in everyday language now? it's interesting to see it left in this version of the prayer, but then again they use 'thy' and 'thine' too.)


O Divine Power of Creation
Hallowed be thy name

The mystery of thy grace be with us

Give us this day our nourishment
For both body and the soul

And forgive us our shortcomings
As we forgive the shortcomings of those around us

Strengthen us in the ways of wisdom
And strengthen our spirit when confronted with evil

For thine is the glory and the power
Of all that is seen and unseen

For ever and ever

Amen



© 2001 Jeffrey Curran
 
I pastored a UMC church in the Finger Lakes region of New York that liked liturgically recited prayers. So I spent a lot of time composing unison prayers that fit the theme of the service. One Sunday little David (age 6!) approached me after the service with a shocking but endearing request: he asked if he could compose a unison prayer for next Sunday's worship, and of course I agreed. I had to correct a couple of spelling errors, but it was a great prayer. Imagine the smiles when the congregation saw the 6-year-old author's name printed under the prayer.

I learned the hard way to vet children's liturgical offerings before the reading. A little girl Joyce (age 9) from an abusive background was brought to my church. She asked if she could occasionally read her poems in church and I agreed, knowing the congregation would love this. Her first poem was appropriate and showed that she was truly gifted. So a couple of months later when she asked to read another poem, I gladly agreed, but would later regret it. Her poem was brilliantly graphic and that was the problem because it was a diatribe against her school teacher whom she "hated!"
 
I've heard that there are places where hate is stored and not allowed into heaven ... and few know any better of it!

Thus if you weave in and out of it ... there may be ups and downs until you get on with it! So it goes with irrational poetry that no one has put to rational use ... sub dune ... in another tense subtle! How it comes down to this is a mystery! Human peculiarity ...
 
I like the feeling of community when I hear all the various church voices saying "The Lord's Prayer" together. It's familiar. When other prayers are written in the bulletin we also say the together...but never with as much gusto as the tried and true.
 
Remember two points about the King James Version:
(1) As it was read aloud, each translation was assessed for its poetic elegance and how well it flowed to the listening ear.
Modern translations lose a lot aesthetically in their tone-deaf effort to be more faithful to the Hebrew and Greek.
This is nowhere more apparent than in modern revisions of the 23rd Psalm. I know of no one who prefers any retranslation of "The Lord is my Sheperd" to the KJV.
(2) It is a mistake to imagine all the KJV translators as pious saintly types. Some were very bright and knowledgeable womanizers and drunkards. I recently watched a documentary on the origin of the KJV in which the narrator mused that the colorful diversity of characters who worked on the translation helped make the KJV the greatest work of literature in the English language!

Still, I vehemently oppose the widespread "King James Only" churches more because of the corrupt biblical manuscripts used in the translation than because of the now archaic language
 
I agree with Mystic that the Lords Prayer was used by Jesus as a teaching tool for His Disciples ---Long Repetitive prayers are discouraged by God as the words are said in vain -----and God already knows what you are going to pray before you pray it -----

Repeating the Lords Prayer often becomes just words to people --it is something they memorised and the meaning is lost ----
 
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