“This, then, is how you should pray: “ ‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. ’
Matthew 6:9-13 NIV
I’ve been preaching through the Lord’s Prayer for the past few weeks at the church where I am pastor. I’ve been inspired to write this honest rendering in my own words of what we’re really saying when we recite this ancient prayer. Pay attention to the words coming out of your mouth. Prayer can be dangerous! You just might be changed!
Dad, you reign on high in heaven, yet know us more intimately than a parent knows their child or that we know ourselves.
You are awesome, magnificent, and holy. Your name is above all. Next to you, we are nothing, yet you love us anyway.
May your kingdom come into its fullness here on Earth. We wait with great anticipation for the return of your Son who will make everything new again.
May your will be done within us, without us, around us, because of us, and in spite of us, in the same way that it is in heaven. Because left to our own devices, we really mess things up.
We trust that you give us exactly we need to get through each day. No more, no less. We often want more: more money, more health, more time… But you know what it is that we NEED.
We confess that we are sinful creatures, who have fallen short of who we are called to be. Forgive us for those times when we turn away from you, and make us clean as if we’d never sinned at all. And help us to forgive those who have wronged us in the same way that you forgive us. (Because if you only forgave us the way we forgive others, we’d be in big trouble!)
We know that sometimes we put ourselves in situations when we might be tempted to do wrong. Our own choices can land us in quite a bit of trouble. Get us out of there! Save us from ourselves.
Protect us from Satan, the devil, the one who would have our souls. Because we can’t resist him on our own. When confronted with evil, let us recognize it and find our safety in you.
Everything belongs to you, we are just caretakers. All that we have is yours. We are powerless without you. All of our praise, honor, and glory belong to you! Until the end of time… And beyond! Amen.