On coming to Resurrection Lutheran Church four months ago, I discovered that the congregation had adopted the contemporary translation of the Lord’s Prayer. I appreciated this because the only time I used “thee” and “thine” in prayer was in the Lord’s Prayer. Praying “forgive us our sins” makes much more sense than “forgive us our trespasses” as does “save us from the time of trial.” But I knew that it would be a challenge to change my interior prayer life to the new translation, just as it is for congregations when they embrace the newer version. The old is deeply imbedded.
I have had little trouble during public worship, since it is projected on the screen to read. The real challenge is for me to pray it in non-worship settings. After our annual meeting, I wanted us to close with the Lord’s Prayer. I started off strong, but after praying “Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us” I crashed and burned, stumbling over “lead, ah, save us from time, . . temptation, No, of trial?” My voice trailed off. Fortunately strong prayer leaders picked up the congregation as I fell. It was a congregational prayer after all.
With this in mind, I decided to practice the prayer through Lent, using it as part of my drive to church. My intention was not to simply recite the prayer, but to pray it with all my heart and mind. Still I would keep eyes open as I drove.
So last Saturday morning as I pulled onto the partially plowed freeway, I began to pray. Suddenly I saw the car next to me pull to the shoulder, and at the same instance an ambulance dashed by, its lights blazing. Also I was surprised to see a police car stopped to assist two cars in the ditch; I touched my brakes and realized that road was more slick than I anticipated. I was praying the petition, “your will be done,” and it struck me, “God’s will is for me to be a non-distracted driver RIGHT NOW!” I stopped praying and immediately gave full attention to driving my car. Later I could give God full my full attention.
How has prayer impacted your life?