March 12, 2019
As I have shared with you more than once, as I grow older in life and in faith I am growing in my appreciation of the Lord’s Prayer. I learned it as a girl and I say it from memory, sometimes without thinking much about the words. But, when I do think about the words: wow. The Kingdom. God’s will. Daily bread. Forgiveness. Temptation. Deliverance from evil. There’s a lot there. Every time we utter this prayer, we ask God for some amazing things. Sometimes I am amazed at the radical demands I make as I pray these words.
Recently someone asked me if we could speak this prayer more slowly during worship. She said she would like to think about the words. We will, indeed, do that one of these days in our Sunday worship, so stay tuned.
You needn’t wait for that worship service to occur in order to pray this prayer more slowly. You can, of course, pray slowly on your own. You might also want to avail yourselves of the prayer stations that are mounted on the outer walls of the sanctuary, along our east and west aisles. Each station focuses on a different petition of the prayer, and most offer an opportunity for you to embody your prayer as well. My particular favorite is the “forgive us our debts” station.
You may avail yourselves of this embodied opportunity for slow prayer any time the church is open. On Wednesday nights during Lent, from 6:30 – 7:15 p.m., Deacons will be available to join you in prayer if you like.
I close with a contemporary paraphrase.
The Lord’s Prayer
(from the New Zealand Prayer book)
(used at the IHM pastoral council meeting, 3 March 2004)
Eternal Spirit, Earth-maker, Pain-bearer, Life-giver,
Source of all that is and that shall be,
Father and Mother of us all,
Loving God, in whom is heaven:
The hallowing of your name echo through the universe!
The way of your justice be followed by the peoples of the world!
Your heavenly will be done by all created beings!
Your commonwealth of peace and freedom sustain our hope and come on earth.
With the bread we need for today, feed us.
In the hurts we absorb from one another, forgive us.
In times of temptation and test, strengthen us.
From trials too great to endure, spare us.
From the grip of all that is evil, free us.
For you reign in the glory of the power that is love, now and forever.