A Prayer, Or A Set Of Instructions?

A reflection on The Lord’s Prayer

When Jesus taught his 12 disciples, and so later all of us, what we now know as The Lord’s Prayer, did he really mean for it to just be repeated word-for-word (allowing now for different translations), each time it was said.

I think that Jesus intent for The Lord’s Prayer was never for it to be said parrot fashion. He was not just teaching us words to say, but was teaching us how to pray. Too often I, and I think probably many other people too, just use the words of The Lord’s Prayer without really thinking about what they mean.

If this sounds like I’m saying we should not be using The Lord’s Prayer, then maybe I am saying that when all we do is say the words by rote without thinking about what they truly mean. For prayer to be meaningful, it is not the words that are important, it is what is in your heart and God always knows what that is. Just repeating the words, which perhaps like me you learned as a child, is just a hollow meaningless gesture.

In my childhood, the version of The Lord’s Prayer that I learned was as in the King James version of The Bible. that is the version I use here.

Our Father who art in Heaven.
Bring God into your mind and find him in your heart.

Hallowed be thy name.
Praise the Lord our God.

Thy kingdom come.
Ask for a better world and do what you can to make the world better.

Thy will be done.
Listen to God. Try to discern what he wants from you or of you. Be prepared to act on what God says to you.

On Earth as it is in Heaven.
Try to do what God leads you to do with diligence, care, compassion and love.

Give us this day our daily bread
This is not just about physical sustenance, for our physical bodies, but about our spiritual lives. Help us to understand your word.

and forgive us our trespasses,
Try and remember specific things to ask for forgiveness for, especially acts of

negligence or omission that are easily forgotten or overlooked.

As we forgive those that trespass against us.
If you do not forgive sins against you, the memory eats away at you until it can tempt

or provoke you into acts of sin or possibly revenge yourself, which is a sin in and of
itself. Maybe not forgiving is itself a sin.

Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil.
I cannot imagine that our God would ever lead us into temptation and if we listen to

his word, we can resist temptation and be delivered.

These notes are on The Lord’s Prayer as Jesus taught it, not with the extra words added later:

For thine is the kingdom,
the power and the glory.
For ever and ever

Amen.

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2 thoughts on “A Prayer, Or A Set Of Instructions?

  1. Pingback: Reflections On The Lords Prayer | Entertaining Angels

  2. Pingback: A Prayer, Or A Set Of Instructions? | Christians Anonymous

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