“The Lord’s Prayer” is repeated en masse in Christian worship around each Sunday. If you listen really hard, you may hear all those voices. That is our topic this Sunday. “Perhaps no prayer is more beloved . . . than the Lord’s Prayer, sometimes called the Prayer of Jesus. While many of us still use the words as found in Matthew 6:9-13, it is an irresistible urge to recreate this most fundamental of prayers in modern language. . . . we offer you . . . versions of the Lord’s Prayer. Pray them all and see what resonates with you. Better yet, be moved to write your own.” So let’s spend some time exploring the many different ways to say it, use it, embrace it.
Jesus was praying in a certain place, and after he had finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, as John taught his disciples.” He said to them, “When you pray, say:
Father, hallowed be your name.
Your kingdom come.
Give us each day our daily bread.
And forgive us our sins,
for we ourselves forgive everyone indebted to us.
And do not bring us to the time of trial.”
. . . “So I say to you, Ask, and it will be given you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you. For everyone who asks receives, and everyone who searches finds, and for everyone who knocks, the door will be opened. . . .”
From sermon4kids.com: “It isn’t a very long prayer, but there are three things in this short prayer that every prayer should include. First of all, it praises God, our heavenly Father. Second, it asks God to provide for what we need for each day. Finally, it asks for God’s forgiveness for the times that we fall short of what he expects of us.”
Collect: O God, the protector of all who trust in you, without whom nothing is strong, nothing is holy: Increase and multiply upon us your mercy; that, with you as our ruler and guide, we may so pass through things temporal, that we lose not the things eternal; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Reflection: Editor’s note: Taking a diversion this week. The principal topic is “The Lord’s Prayer”. Read the “Brain Food” below, reflect on the many versions of “The Lord’s Prayer”, think about its components, then craft your own and post to the Friends of SSSJ Facebook page. If you need help, talk with one of the youth who created their own “Lord’s Prayer” in the last year’s curriculum.
Sunday School—out for the summer
For this week, let our brain food be the many ways one may say “The Lord’s Prayer”
From James Burklo: Dear One, closer to us than our own hearts, farther from us than the most distant star, you are beyond naming. May your powerful presence become obvious not only in the undeniable glory of the sky, but also in the seemingly base and common processes of the earth. Give us what we need, day by day, to keep body and soul together, because clever as you have made us, we still owe our existence to you. We recognize that to be reconciled with you, we must live peaceably and justly with other human beings, putting hate and bitterness behind us. We are torn between our faith in your goodness and our awareness of the evil in your creation, so deliver us from the temptation to despair. Yours alone is the universe and all its majesty and beauty. So it is, Amen.
From the Church of New Zealand: Eternal Spirit, Source of all that is and ever shall be, Loving Parent in whom we discern heaven, May knowledge of your holiness inspire all peoples, And may your commonwealth of peace and freedom flourish on earth Until all of humankind heed your call to justice and compassion. May we find the bread that we need for today, And for the hurts we cause one another May we be forgiven in the same measure that we forgive. In times of trial and temptation, help us to be strong; When life seems overwhelming, help us to endure; And thus from the yoke of sin deliver us. May you reign in the power of human love, Now and forever. Amen.
Native American by Hattie C Enos, Nez Perce: O Great Spirit, You are our Shepherd Chief in the most high place. Whose home is everywhere, even beyond the stars and moon. Whatever You want done, let it also be done everywhere. Give us Your gift of bread day by day. Forgive us our wrongs as we forgive those who wrong us. Take us away from wrong doings. Free us from all evil. For everything belongs to You. Let your power and glory shine forever. Amen.
From the Aramaic: O cosmic Birther of all radiance and vibration. Soften the ground of our being and carve out a space within us where your Presence can abide. Fill us with your creativity so that we may be empowered to bear the fruit of your mission. Let each of our actions bear fruit in accordance with our desire,
endow us with the wisdom to produce and share what each being needs to grow and flourish. Untie the tangled threads of destiny that bind us, as we release others from the entanglement of past mistakes. Do not let us be seduced by that which would divert us from our true purpose, but illuminate the opportunities of the present moment. For you are the ground and the fruitful vision, the birth, power and fulfillment, as all is gathered and made whole once again.
From New Zealand Aborigine: O most Compassionate Life-giver, may we honor and praise you; May we work with you to establish your new order of justice peace and love; Give us what we need for growth, And help us, through forgiving others, to accept forgiveness. Strengthen us in the time of testing, that we may resist all evil, For all tenderness, strength and love are yours, now and forever. Amen
Now, it’s time for yours. Populate the FB Group Page with your effort. I look forward to reading them.
“Book of Eli” (2010), faith in a post-apocalyptic world; “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” (1996), good case for self esteem, social conscious, and tolerance; “We were soldiers” (2002), a soldier and his commanding officer meet in the chapel and . . .
Image “The Lord’s Prayer” from the Albani Psalter.
Read aloud “The Lord’s Prayer” from the New Zealand Book of Common Control (above). Write down what sticks out for you, what puts you off, what feels right. If you wish, share your thoughts with your parents or on the FB Group page Friends of SSSJ.