Praying the Lord’s Prayer (Part Two)

Whichever version of the Lord’s Prayer we pray (the topic of my last post), the words can become a string of sounds without meaning. One helpful way to truly pray the prayer is to slow it down, to breathe each phrase or petition and pause to reflect upon it for a moment. For example: God is our Father, our Papa, our Dad, and like a good father God wants to spend time with us, to be in relationship. May this time of prayer be such a time of holy conversation.  Slowing down the Lord’s Prayer allows it to become a form of meditation rather than recitation. To quickly rattle off the words of the prayer rarely becomes true prayer.

Another way to pray the prayer is to use other biblical translations of the prayer. With the plethora of Bible translations one can find unique wordings that can reawaken Jesus’ prayer for us. For example, Eugene Peterson’s The Message translates Matthew 6:9-13 as following:

With a God like this loving you, you can pray very simply. Like this:
Our Father in heaven, Reveal who you are.
Set the world right; Do what’s best – as above, so below.
Keep us alive with three square meals.
Keep us forgiven with you and forgiving others.
Keep us safe from ourselves and the Devil.
You’re in charge! You can do anything you want!
You’re ablaze in beauty! Yes. Yes. Yes.

Or you might try writing your own version of the Lord’s Prayer. A thoughtful personal translation can help you rediscover the beauty and wonder of Jesus’ simple prayer. Here is my recent attempt.

Papa who rules the cosmos,
let Your honor be our vision.
Bring Your desires and justice to our world,
So that heaven can be seen here.
Provides us with sufficient food for today.
Teach us to forgive with the same passion that You forgive us.
Protect us from the evil within and without.
And let us never forget that You are our Glorious King.

Lord Jesus, continue to imprint your words on our hearts and lives

3 thoughts on “Praying the Lord’s Prayer (Part Two)

  1. cleaunz

    The Lords Prayer is the only prayer I pray apart from my own personal prayers. The Lord’s Prayer, I use for all reasons to pray from gratitude to praise to suplication and pettition. I use it also in a medititive manner and, on occasions, for me to focus when focus is needed. I looked at how much I relied on the wording for my reason for prayer by reading through the newer versions you posted here. First thing I noticed was that most of the lines in the newer versions were completely different and saw no relevence to the meaning I have for the parts of the prayer they replaced. For example – the ‘Hollowed be Thy name’ has no mention in the new versions. To me I see very little in the new versions that would say to me that this is the prayer that Jesus gave to us. However, when I pray it, the words are more symbolic and point to the meaning of the line in relation to the subject of my prayer. I find for example the line ‘Reveal who you are.’ does not play in my minds view in any part of the prayer except perhaps in ‘Thy Kingdom come’.

    I am not saying that the new prayer is wrong or not a prayer or whatever – it is just my initial thoughts on your blog. It feels very uncomfortable and not something I will or need to embrace. The new versions have their own meaning for those who embrace them and prayer is not really about the words but the heart being presented to God in that moment. Formal prayers, to me anyway, just bring my focus toward God and me, hopefully, to His presence together with the subjects of my prayer into his presence. Interesting and thought provocing blog and one which I will ponder over further.
    I hope this all makes sense – difficult to write on such a subject in a few paragraphs. In conclusion I guess I do change the prayer not in the words aswritten so much as what the words mean to me in the moment of prayer.

  2. Pastor John Keller Post author

    Cleaunz, I appreciate your comments, especially that the central focus on prayer is “the heart being present to God.” I recently heard a good explanation of prayer that goes, “the purpose of prayer is to quiet the many voices in our lives so that we can truly hear the still small voice of God.”
    God’s peace be with you as you seek Him in prayer.

  3. Pingback: A dad’s prayer | achristiandadblog

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