“Pray like this: Our Father in heaven, may your name be kept holy. May your Kingdom come soon. May your will be done on earth, as it is in heaven. Give us today the food we need, and forgive us our sins, as we have forgiven those who sin against us. And don’t let us yield to temptation, but rescue us from the evil one.” Matthew 6:9-13 (New Living Translation)
Such familiar words deserve yet another hearing…
“This, then, is how you should pray: ‘Our Father in heaven: May your holy name be honored; may your Kingdom come; may your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today the food we need. Forgive us the wrongs we have done, as we forgive the wrongs that others have done to us. Do not bring us to hard testing, but keep us safe from the Evil One.’” (Good News Translation)
This prayer and these words, for some of us, are so routine that we haven’t actually heard them in a very, very long time. Here’s one more opportunity to receive afresh this lesson on prayer from our Lord:
“With a God like this loving you, you can pray very simply. Like this: Our Father in heaven, reveal who you are. Set the world right; Do what’s best – as above, so below. Keep us alive with three square meals. Keep us forgiven with you and forgiving others. Keep us safe from ourselves and the Devil.” (The Message)
Many a prayer formula has been devised using this teaching moment of Jesus. I get the feeling – don’t you? – that formulas weren’t exactly what He was going for as He said this prayer out loud.
Desire for His presence!
Longing for His will to be made known and put on display!
Our physical hunger – quenched.
Our shortcomings and failures – forgiven.
The ability to give grace to others – desperately needed.
Minimize our mistakes (please).
Protection and rescue. Protection and rescue. Protection and rescue!
There it is, Lord. Yes!
Jesus’ most specific teaching on prayer is not only simple, but specific. Nothing fancy. No guesswork here.
To be literal with Jesus’ prayer is something most of us are used to doing – word for word – so the APP for today isn’t necessarily what you might expect…
Instead of rattling off some words that don’t require you to think as you speak, adopt a new and different version of the Lord’s Prayer for Holy Week. Use one of those provided above, or better yet – write your own. There is something soothing and beautiful about familiar words, but there is something powerful and stirring about looking at the familiar from a different point of view.
I would love to hear your version – your personal Holy Week prayer.
Use the comment space below!
Here’s a daily prayer, written by John Eldredge, that utilizes scripture and serves up a powerful opportunity for connecting with our Father. Check it out!