7/13/11

Our Father

The Lord's Prayer is one of the most familiar congregational prayers in church you could start it in a shopping mall and probably 80% of the people would be able to say it with you. We attend a very non-traditional church with a relaxed "liturgy," yet everyone still enjoys when we all say the Prayer together. The problem with any memorized prayers is that they become rote and can lose meaning. When there is a desire to seek God in real terms, in real words, there are ways to turn even the routine into something special.

A number of years ago Max Lucado published a book called, "The Great House of God." It de-mystified the words in the Lord's Prayer through each chapter and made it personal and thoughtful. Ever since then, when I recite the Lord's Prayer I try to take my time and really think of what the words say, not just say them.

Here is what I do:

Our Father- Daddy who loves me, I come as a trusting child
Who is in Heaven- You live in Heaven, yet have your Holy Presence here on earth
Hallowed be Your name- holy are you, O Lord, the mention of Your Name causes the angels to cry out, "Holy, Holy, Holy."
Your Kingdom come- Your Kingdom is one of righteousness and a Holy life.
Your Will be done- Not my will by Yours. I surrender to whatever you have for me.
On earth- That which I can see,
As it is in Heaven- And that which I cannot see, yet where You live.
Give us today our daily bread- You tell me not to worry about my life, and I trust you to provide for my daily needs.
And forgive us our debts- I owe you so much, and my sin cost you so much.
As we also have forgiven our debtors- I will forgive those who hurt me and extend grace through the grace that You've given me.
And lead us not into temptation- I know if I follow You and not my desires, You will keep me on the right path.
But deliver us from the evil one- Sometimes I am in trouble just because I live in a sinful world and am under attack from Satan, yet You say that not only are you with me always, You can deliver me from all my troubles.

The last line, "For Thine is the Kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever, and ever. Amen" is not in the Scripture, but was added in (if my research is correct) in 1662 and adopted by all congregations as part of the Lord's Prayer. It is to me a long amen, but I don't rush it either.

Anyway, this is just an example of how to make the Lord's Prayer more meaningful. I think we all get too caught up in our lives at times and really need to slow down and meditate on the Word. You could do this with any scripture and re-word it to make sense to you. Perhaps try it on another verse that you've had memorized and bring God's Word deeper into your heart.

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