Sunday, July 24, 2016

The Lord's Prayer - A Modern Version

O God who is like a nurturing father or mother,
who resides in divine spaces near and far,
come and make your name holy among us.

May your realm of peace and justice be evermore established in your world,
and may your purposes be fulfilled.
Grant us what we need for today physically, emotionally, spiritually, relationally.
Forgive us for what we have done to or neglected to do for others,
as we are also called to forgive those who have engaged in such acts against us.

Help us to resist the temptation to give into fear, hatred, and scapegoating
which harms your creation and makes idols of our own prejudices,
and liberate us from thoughts and actions that demean and dehumanize that which you love.

A transformed reality for which we have ongoing hope,
the power that you show in unconventional and unexpected ways,
and the glory that you are ever shining through what you have made
are always and forever yours.

Amen.

10 comments:

Josh said...

The Lord's Prayer is one of my favorite prayers. I have read a few books about it and what it says as a prayer. Some translators add words and some make it even shorter. None of the authors I've read have changed the meaning of the Lord's Prayer. Which probably why I enjoy the traditional version the most. the meaning is always the same.

Keith Johnson said...

The problem with the Lord's Prayer is the centuries old mistranslation 'Lead us not into temptation.' It was an English version of the Latin text 'ne nos inducas intentationem' which is a distortion of the original Greek 'do not bring us to the time of trial.'(kai me eisenenkes hemas eis peirasmon.) God is a loving Father who would never 'lead us into temptation', but he allows us to be tested by the forces of evil all around us.

Jeff Nelson said...

Because it apparently needs to be said, I didn't intend this as a replacement for the traditional version. I wrote it as a reflection on how each line could be interpreted or applied today.

Elizabeth Marshall said...

I think it's wonderful! We recite the old formula with no contemporary framework for understanding its words. In effect, we limit the extent and the power of the prayer. I admire the way you've worked into it, current understandings of salvation and the Kingdom of God. "Give us this day, our daily bread," means so much more than Aunt Millie's 100% Whole Wheat!

Jan Shannon said...

I love it! Last Sunday our congregation went through the Lord's Prayer in detail, and prayer in general, so this is perfect as a follow-up. I will use it in place of the traditional version as the corporate prayer after the Prayers of the People. Thanks for sharing! I will attribute this to you, Jeff Nelson, with thanks.

Laurie Parafinczuk said...

Is the word kingdom inclusive???

Laurie Parafinczuk said...

Is the word kingdom inclusive???

Jeff Nelson said...

I tend to still default to "kingdom" because I believe Jesus was making a theological critique against the powers of his day by using that term. But I also like "realm," which I would have been happy to use as well. And I purposely chose other language for the other instances of "kingdom" in the traditional prayer in order to get at some of what I believe to be the underlying meaning of its use, and indeed to seek something more inclusive. But one slipped through, I guess.

I've gone ahead and made the change to "realm," with the explanation of why I'm still comfortable with "kingdom" offered above but also with the acknowledgement of why others are not.

James said...

Thank you very much for the modern interpretation. So loving. So caring. So soothing. I'm hanging on to it.

Deborah Bornholdt said...

Thank you Jeffrey for this powerful piece. We need to be reminded that we are the church, that our call is to minister, not to those who have gone before us, but to those out there today, living on the edges, who may not know anything about what it is to be part of our greater Christian community. I believe we can reach these people using today's language, familiar to them, not the language of our early beginnings, that can be difficult to understand. Don't get me wrong, tradition is wonderful, I respect it, and it does still have a place in worship. But we need to reach out to those who may be thinking that Christianity doesn't have anything to offer to them in this day and time. We need to show them that God is still speaking, in a language they can relate to. Blessings, Deb Bornholdt