The prayers in this chapter give different images and metaphors for God, as most prayers do. When we speak or write about God, we naturally invoke the familiar and personal aspects of our feelings and emotions because good prayers come from the heart. Prayers do not argue or require theological distinctions, such as “Is God male or female?” We are in relationship with God in ways more intimate than we can understand, and the language of our prayers communicates that intimacy. Prayers reveal our understanding and our attitude. They become moments of self-discovery and awareness. The prayers, plus the text from the Bible, invite your participation in this path to wisdom.
In all of the places where the “Lord’s Prayer” is noted, I recommend using the following interpretive prayer found in A New Zealand Prayer Book (1989).
Earth-maker, Pain-bearer, Life-giver,
Source of all that is and that shall be,
Father and Mother of us all,
Loving God, in whom is heaven:
The hallowing of your name echo through the universe!
The way of your justice be followed by the peoples of the world!
Your heavenly will be done by all created beings!
Your commonwealth of peace and freedom
sustain our hope and come on earth.
With the bread we need for today, feed us.
In the hurts we absorb from one another, forgive us.
In times of temptation and test, strengthen us.
From trials too great to endure, spare us.
From the grip of all that is evil, free us.
For you reign in the glory of the power that is love,
now and forever. Amen. (p. 181)