We never know when God will beckon. For example, today’s Gospel in which Jesus does a basic thing: He tells the apostles, “This is how you are to pray.” So He begins the Our Father, which despite its familiarity most often presents some phrase on which to cling for inspiration.
Yet, perhaps today offers an opportunity to learn a bit more about this most common of prayers. For example, there is a book that can be found on the Internet, The Lord’s Prayer in 500 Languages, comprising the “leading languages and their principal dialects throughout the world.” A huge testament to the fact that Christians have taken to heart Jesus’s instructions. And if it has been a good source for all of those many, perhaps for us.
There have been any number of adaptations in English written perhaps to fit more culturally a variety of praying Christians: Native Americans, Africans, and an interesting, Internet also “Alternative Versions,” that includes the New Zealand Prayer Book; from Mark Berry of the Emerging Church Movement, that ends with a Postscript after the Amen: “ May our future actions grow from here!” Also included is a “retranslation” from the Aramaic that begins: “O Breathing Life, your Name shines everywhere!”
The one that captures my interest for prayer today, another from this collection, “from Dominican Sisters Retreat, March 1993, Great Bend Kansas.”
Prayed with alternating sides:
Give us this day our daily bread. Give us today a nurturing spirit.
May God and you find freshness together in your Lenten journey!
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