The Lord’s Prayer

Jesus taught one specific prayer even though there were other times of meditation and prayer described in the New Testament.

Pray then in this way:
Our Father in heaven,
Hallowed be your name.
Your kingdom come.
Your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And do not bring us to the time of trial,
but rescue us from the evil one. (Matthew 6:9-13)

From A New Zealand Prayer Book (1989):

Eternal Spirit,
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 for ever. Amen. (p. 181)

For Contemplation

“Our Father”
“Father and Mother of us all”

We exist in relationship to God and the relationship is universal, meaning God in relationship to every person and every person in relationship to God. Our being is subordinate to God’s total being. Through Christ, God is present with us and bears the same pain we experience. God gives us life, God is creator, the source of all that is and that will be. Everything exists within God because God is infinite and creates out of God’s own being. Our relationship is a mutual loving relationship. We also know that within God is our understanding of the creative and nurturing aspect of the feminine.

“In heaven”
“in whom is heaven”

As everything exists in God, heaven also exists within God, and because God is eternal, heaven exists in an eternal state of being within God’s infinite presence.

“Hallowed be your name”
“hallowing of your name echo through the universe”

The name of God represents God’s being and presence; God’s name is sacred and is named or used in a holy, sacred manner.

Your kingdom come”
“The way of your justice be followed
by all the peoples of the world”
“Your commonwealth of peace and freedom
sustain our hope and come on earth”

The sovereignty of God is manifest and exists at all times. We, in freedom, ask that this sovereignty exist within us and around us.

“Your will be done”
“Your heavenly will be done by all created beings”

We subject ourselves to God’s sovereignty and universal laws. We are subject to God’s creative essence, which is love, which is the source of our own life and being. We acknowledge God’s action, the unfolding of creation in every movement, in the fulfillment of all universal law. We express the desire that God’s intention and movement become evident to us.

“On earth”

Our existence and our natural state of being is the place of God’s movement. We surrender the life and all we have been given and return it to God.

“As it is in heaven”

God’s eternal nature and being, within which is heaven, which is co- existent to God’s love and truth, which connects with us intimately, is the oneness of God’s being. Inside of this being, everything is according to God’s order and will.

“Give us”

The request is made in the context of ourselves and everyone we are in relationship with. This petition is a universal petition that goes beyond our individual needs. Our need is always in the context of our relationships.

“This day”

During this waking period, during this period of conscious awareness, in this moment, no more. Beyond this moment is outside the context of this prayer. We are speaking in the eternal now, the present moment, no further.

“Our daily bread”
“With the bread we need for today, feed us”

Nourishment in this moment. Nourishment that meets all of our needs: physical, mental, spiritual. Nourishment in the context of “our” relationships, remembering we are speaking to the one God that is the God of every human being whether known or not, whether acknowledged or not.

“And forgive us”
“In the hurts we absorb from one another forgive us”

Forgiveness occurs in the context of relationship. Forgiveness goes beyond our individual redemption to the redemption of all humankind. Forgiveness must exist in all our relationships for any actions or intentions given or received.

“Our debts”

Our obligations that arise out of relationship: our truthfulness in our relationships, the love in our relationships, our ability to remain in service in our relationships, our ability to renew ourselves in our relationships.

“As we also have forgiven our debtors”

We raise in our consciousness our ability to influence and our power to contribute to all of our relationships: our relationship to love, to truth, to God, to God through our relationship to others. The quality of our relationship—truth and love that enfolds us—is the context of our standing before God’s mercy.

“And do not bring us to the time of trial”
“In times of temptation and test, strengthen us”

May our awareness of God not become idolatrous, may it remain responsive and present in the moment, that our awareness contribute to the highest good. May our self-concept or an ego-driven understanding not lead us. Let us surrender and accept God’s presence and help in the trials we create out of our own actions and our own ignorance.

“But rescue us from the evil one”
“From trials too great to endure, spare us”
“From the grip of all that is evil, free us”

When we have acted selfishly, when we have focused in our relationships on individual ego-driven need, we ask to remember that God is ever- present and our awareness of God can lift us out of harm to ourselves or harm to others. In the moment when we experience separation or evil, we ask for help to raise our consciousness to a transcendent perspective.

“Amen”

So be it. We affirm our commitment to the vision and understanding expressed in our prayer.

Prayer

(Repeat one of the above prayers)