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The Lord’s Prayer for Me

In the Bible, when the disciples asked Jesus how to pray, they asked him “Teach us to pray”. He gave them the prayer we refer to has The Lord’s Prayer.

This is how most people know it:

Our Father

Who art in heaven

Hallowed be Thy name

Thy kingdom come

Thy will be done

On earth as it is in heaven

Give us this day our daily bread

Forgive us our trespasses

As we forgive those who trespass against us

Lead us not into temptation

But deliver us from evil

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

Forever and ever

Amen

There was some controversy at my church a few years back because two members wanted us to exclusively use a more modern version of The Lord’s Prayer and the rest of us wanted to stick with what we all know…as in what is written above. Eventually it was decided to just stick with the traditional version. Especially since those two people left our church.

Although I still stand by my opinion that we should pray The Lord’s Prayer in the traditional form because it is what people are familiar with, I have been thinking about how to make it more meaningful. After all, we tend to recite it when asked (Let us now pray the prayer the Lord taught us…Our Father…) but I think we do it by rote without much thought to the meaning of the words or how it impacts us.

One time my pastor lead us in praying The Lord’s Prayer during church one Sunday by saying that we would start out whispering it and gradually increase the volume. We started out very quietly, like we were almost saying it to ourselves “Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed by thy name, thy kingdom come, thy will be done….” until the very end where we were practically shouting “FOR THINE IS THE KINGDOM AND THE POWER AND THE GLORY, FOREVER AND EVER, AMEN!”

It was very meaningful. We really thought about what we were saying and the last part was such a shout of praise and glory to God, it really moved us!

In thinking about all of this, I started thinking about The Lord’s Prayer in a more personal manner. What would it be like to pray The Lord’s Prayer but make it more of a prayer between me and God, rather than everyone and God. Also, what would it be like to make it more conversational rather than poetic.

This is what I came up with:

My Father, who is in heaven, holy is your name. Your kingdom come, Your will be done, here on earth as it is in heaven. Give me this day my daily bread. Forgive me my trespasses as I forgive those who trespass against me. Lead me not into temptation but deliver me from evil. For Yours is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever and ever. Amen

The first thing that stands out to me is the forgiveness part. No, not that I use the word “trespasses” instead of “sins”. I like trespass. Sounds less evil. But it is the part where I am asking God to forgive me the way I forgive others. Which makes me very mindful of the fact that I am not so quick to forgive others. I don’t let things go so easily. But I should. God forgives me and remembers my sins no more. He separates me from them as the east is from the west. This is the way I should live. To forgive easily and quickly and forget the sin. Something I am working on and will continue to work on.

The other thing that stands out to me is the daily bread part. “Give me this day my daily bread”. Not what I need tomorrow or next month or next year. But what I need to get through this day alone.

When God gave the Israelites manna to eat each day, they were instructed to just gather what they needed for that day and not to try to save it for the next day. It wouldn’t last and would become spoiled and rotten overnight. The only exception to this rule was for the Sabbath Day. The day before they were to gather enough for two days since they couldn’t work on the Sabbath.

God wants us to just to be concerned about today. He even carries this forward into the Gospels where he tells us to consider the lilies of the valley. “They neither toil or spin yet they are dressed finer than Solomon in all his splendor”. So why should we worry about what we should eat or what we should wear, God will provide.

Give me this day my daily bread. What I need for today and today alone. Am I starving today? No. Am I warm and dry today? Yes. Do I have a place to sleep tonight? Yes. God does provide. Maybe not the way I want but it is provision.

There is so much more to The Lord’s Prayer than what we pray on a Sunday morning. In re-working the phrasing a little, it becomes so personal and meaningful. Impacting my life on so many levels.

If you can, take a moment to pray the more personal form of The Lord’s Prayer. It will provide meaning and insight for you and, hopefully, impact your life in a very positive way.

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