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3.10.2014

Pater Noster

I wrote this responsive prayer for our service yesterday as part of a 40 day series on the Lord's Prayer our church is going through. My mother asked me to post it here. I do what she says.

Lord Jesus, teach us to pray:
For yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever.
This is your world. You hold the past, present, and future in your almighty hands. Because the veil was torn and the Spirit has come, we are always—even now—standing in the presence of our God. All of creation bends to you—and would we hesitate? The rocks sing your praise, and the waves rest at your feet. How often we forget!

Lord Jesus, teach us to pray:
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.
All around us—and within us—we find excuses to ignore your persistent presence.  We settle for easy dissatisfaction in things that are not of you. We have stepped too far over that line that runs through each human heart. We’ve compromised to keep ourselves from suffering as you suffer, grieving as you grieve—but it has robbed us also of your divine, unfettered joy. All this, and we hesitate to call the darkness evil. Christ, keep us.

And Lord Jesus, teach us to pray:
Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.
Son of God, have mercy on us for the things we choose to do instead of loving you.  Too often we cast the stones of our own justice, forgetting that they fall on you. Our hardness of heart keeps us distant—but apart from you, where shall we go? How can we live? You who said, “Father, forgive,” help us to have mercy as you have mercy. Unclench the fists of our hearts, and teach us to love like you.

Lord Jesus, teach us to pray:
Give us today our daily bread.
Ever more we need you! When the car unexpectedly runs out of gas, the bank account’s tapped out, the job’s lost, or we’re just too tired to do the kindest thing. Then the simplest things are supernatural, because we only have when they come from you. Every day we need your grace. Every day we need your bread.

Lord Jesus, teach us to pray:
Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
Even though it messes with our personal plans, even though it requires our surrender, even though it means everything must change—O that you would rend the heavens and come down! We are weary, we are angry, that the oppressor has had his way! The closer we are to you, the more it breaks our hearts to see the poor trampled, the weak abused—to see the lonely, the less than, the lost, the hurt.

We’ve wronged, fallen short, and been endlessly needy, and you’ve met us with your own endless mercy and generosity. So too we need you when the brokenness of the world hurts us more than we can bear. Put an end to the brokenness of nature. Put an end to the brokenness of humanity. Because in your presence neither disaster nor disease nor abuse nor death by any hand can stand. You conquer with severest light, and you heal with perfect tenderness.

We need you now to remind us of the goodness of existence, of the beauty of the earth—to remind us of the astonishing gift of your holiness here with us. When our hearts are burdened, when our future is hard to see, when our patience is thin and our eyes are dim, still, as your children, there is one thing we know: That you, O Lord, are good.

Lord Jesus, teach us to pray:
Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name.

Amen.

2 comments:

  1. Thank you for posting this.
    You're really sweet to your bossy mother.

    ReplyDelete
  2. And she is very sweet to me.

    ReplyDelete

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