Jesus said to his disciples:
"In praying, do not babble like the pagans." Mt. 6
It is so good to reflect upon the prayer Jesus taught us, so that
we'll be less likely the "babble on" this Sunday when
we recite his prayer together, in common. Even powerful words can
become so automatic, that they can lose quite a bit of their power.
For example, we should say, "I love you" to everyone we
really love, every day. But, we have to say those three simple words,
knowing what they mean and letting that meaning come from my heart
to the person I love.
Abba. Jesus begins by urging us to be tender in our address to God.
We may have difficulties with the word "Father" (whatever
issues we might have with "paternalism" or painful experiences
of our own absent or difficult father), but Jesus uses the word,
Abba, which shocked his listeners for its intimacy. It is an affectionate
address, closer to "Papa." It is such an act of "community"
to begin with the words "Our Abba." Jesus shows us we
are never alone before the God and Father of us all.
May your name be holy. I so want to give you the honor, the praise,
the reverence you deserve as the one who made me and sustains me
in life. Your Spirit is Holiness itself. From your sanctifying Spirit
all holiness comes. By your grace, may I be able to bless your holy
May your Kingdom come. All that I am and whatever I do, including
all my choices and relationships are about how your Kingdom, your
reign, might come into this world. May your transforming presence
fill our world until it is all what you desire it to be. May I be
a part of that this day.
May your will be done on earth, as it is in heaven. And, let me
not live today in some "world" that is separated from
you and from your desires for me and for others. Free our world
from greed and lust for power that is the root of conflict and division,
and which leads to all injustice and the indignities agains human
Give us this day our daily bread. I need your nourishment each and
every day. I don't need the bread of a celebration each day, but
I do need daily bread. Let Jesus be bread - bread that gives life.
Continue to nourish us all and sustain us in times that feel like
Forgive us our tresspasses, as we forgive those who tresspass against
us. Now I'm going to be bold and ask you to forgive us all. And
let us all forgive anyone who has sinned against us. And please
link our asking for your forgiveness and our commitment to you that
we will be forgiving ourselves.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us. Protect us from
all the traps that are out there for us every day - the ones that
surprise us, but also the familiar ones we fall into because they've
become a part of our patterns. We beg your deliverance and freedom
Each one of us can say what we want these words to say for us, today,