Monday, 18 May 2015

An extended Lord's prayer

Our  Father, You invite us to unity, and community - to think of ourselves as “us” not “me”

Father – You are the most wonderful Father – all that a Father should encompass – leadership, protection, teaching, the One who gives us life and cares for us throughout our lives, who only desires good for us

Who art in heaven – You reign and rules on high forevermore

Hallowed be Your name – You are altogether Holy and set apart. You alone are worthy of the highest praises, blessed Father, Son and Holy Spirit. We worship You and lift Your name high. Be exalted O God.

May Your kingdom come – may the kingdom of God be established throughout the peoples of this earth. We wait with eager anticipation of the time when Jesus Christ will return to this earth, when God will reign throughout the world and all things will be made new.

And Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Father we see the wickedness of this world and grieve, for it is not what You created it to be. We long to see Your  holiness growing in the hearts and minds of people and nations until You come again to this earth. We yearn for heaven, where all are joyfully worshiping You. Help us to do your will until that time. Heaven for us begins here on earth.  

Give us this day our daily bread – Jesus, you are the bread of life. Feed us with Your dear presence we pray. Feed us with your word. Thank you also for the food we have for our physical bodies as well as so many other blessings, more than we ever need. Make us mindful of all those in the world who are hungry and in want we pray.

Forgive us our sins – I acknowledge that I am sinful. I fall short in so many ways. I have not loved You wholeheartedly. I have not loved others as I should. I cling to old habits and excuse myself daily. I am blind to my own faults and quick to judge and criticise others. Create in me a clean heart and renew a right spirit within me Father. I long to grow in Christ and become more like Him, that His loving Spirit would be manifest in my life and would draw others to faith in God.

As we forgive those who sin against us – help me Father to forgive when I am not forgiving, when I am angry and bitter and indignant. Make me mindful that You will only forgive me as much as I forgive others. Help me to give over all things to You. Thank You that all things work together for those who love You. Thank You that You have made some of the worst experiences of my life to be those which have grown and deepened my faith and walk with You and have witnessed for You to others. For the fruits borne, please forgive.

Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil – Father, we know that the evil one desires to destroy our Christian witness and our relationship with You, even our very lives. May we cling to You and follow Your guiding Holy Spirit in all that we do. We walk so closely to the wide, easy road that leads to hell. May we never veer from the narrow path that you have called us to walk upon. Help us to keep our hearts, minds, and eyes firmly fixed on Your glory.

For Yours is the kingdom – the realm of heaven and earth in which the Trinity forever reigns and Christians, angels (not fallen ones) and heavenly beings live eternally.

the power – Father, Your power is already established. Satan is forever defeated by the cross, and has no power over Jesus Christ and those who call upon the name of Jesus.

and the glory – the unsurpassable majesty of God which shines brighter than the sun

forever and ever– eternally. You reign forever, Father. Thank You that we are born into eternal life with You, through Your dear Son Jesus Christ.

Amen -  which means certainly, truly, I agree or uphold, affirmation, so be it.

What we know as the “Lord’s prayer” is found in Matthew’s gospel, chapter 6, verses 9-13. Modern translations e.g. NIV generally conclude the translation with the line “deliver us from evil”, or in some translations “the evil one”. The final two lines are an expression of praise to God which was appeared in former translations such as Tyndale’s translation, also the King James Bible. Those of us with Anglo-Saxon heritage are very familiar with the traditional version, however it is becoming more common to hear the use of shortened or slightly modified versions.

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