Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The Lord's Prayer

The Lord's prayer has played a special part in my life for a while now. Reading this made it fresh again:

Our Father, who art in heaven

I begin with an endearing term of relationship, "Father." Remind me today that you live and reign, not in heaven only but all around me and in my life. Make me aware of your active presence all day, in all my undertakings and in the people I meet.

Hallowed be your name

How can I recognize you - in the splendor of nature, in the odd mix of people I meet, in the still voice that calls me to be more like you? May I "hallow" what lies before me, by consciously referring it to you, and also honor your perfection, your holiness, by seeking to become more like you.

Your kingdom come

Yes, and allow me to be an agent of that kingdom by bringing peace to the anxious, grace to the needy, and your love to all whom I touch. May people believe in your reign of goodness because of how I live today.

Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven

I see that will most clearly in Jesus, who healed the sick and comforted the grieving, who lifted up the downtrodden, who stood always for life and not death, for hope and not despair, for freedom and not bondage. He lived out heaven's will on earth. Help me be like Jesus.

Give us today our daily bread

We have no guarantee of a day beyond this one. May I trust you for what I need today, nourishment for both body and soul, and not worry about future needs and wants. May I also be ever responsive to those who lack bread today.

Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors

Remind me of my true state, as a debtor who can never buy my way into your favor. Thank God, I do not have to. Grant me the same attitude of forgiving grace toward those who owe me, and who have wronged me, that you show toward me.

And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one

Let me not slide mindlessly toward evil today. Make me alert to its temptations and strong to resist it, with neither fear nor regret.

from Prayer, Philip Yancey, page 171.

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