Last year, I wrote several blogs on the Lord’s Prayer (or the Our Father). It is certainly the most prayed prayer in the history of Christianity. Many churches use it every Sunday. Many individuals pray it daily. I am one of those.
The truth about praying prayers created or written by someone else is that, it is possible to say the words and not think about them. In order to really pray these prayers, we must learn to pray them with intention. This means pay attention to what we are saying.
During this time of the COVID-19 pandemic, certain phrases from the Lord’s Prayer have become filled with new meaning for me. When I pray them with intention, I am brought more closely into the presence of God.
“Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” I think about God’s desire for love to rule the day on earth as it surely does in heaven. So, in that phrase, is the implicit request for an increase in compassion on earth.
“Give us this day our daily bread.” I remember all the lines of people waiting for food in this time of scarcity and joblessness. They become a part of my concern.
“Let us not fall to temptation.” (This is the phrase I picked up from Roman Catholics which seems clearer than “Lead us not into temptation.) Two temptations are especially prevalent in today’s world; a temptation to despair and a temptation to anger. Both can be found in sad abundance, though the second one is more likely to rise in my heart. So, my concern for the emotional and spiritual welbeing of others and myself highlight this phrase.
Finally, there is “deliver us from evil.” I think of the evil of the virus and I think of the evil of divisiveness in American society. Both call for deliverance.
May praying the Lord’s Prayer bring you closer to God and to God’s will for your life.
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