Imagine you’re sitting with your friend Jesus in a local coffee shop today asking Him about how to pray. You have so many needs, so many distractions… Sometimes you just can’t handle it all. Using modern American English, he might offer you prayer advice like this:
Start with a “Hello” to Our (shared) Father, Creator of all, who is above, beyond and through this visible world. Tell Him you revere and respect His great name above all and will only use it with loving intent.
Ask Him to let the work you do bring His kingdom to earth, and not be a futile attempt to try and craft your desires into His plan.
Ask Him for what you and your community or family need just for today, no more and no less (and to be grateful for it);
Ask Him to help you forgive, so you also can receive His forgiveness. No one’s perfect, and sometimes we need His help to see that.
Ask him to provide strength to recognize the things, situations, or people that tempt us away from His will and help us to walk away from them and toward His light.
Finish with your statement of belief and surrender to His will.
But Jesus spoke the words of the Lord’s Prayer, or the “Our Father” in my Catholic tradition, long ago to His disciples on a mountainside in more poetic language, perhaps to allow us to ponder and reflect on the words from different angles and cultural backgrounds over the course of our lives.
So, imagine you’re under an olive tree, along the Sea of Galilee. You are sitting with Jesus one morning while the fishing boats go by and and the sun is rising, wondering, “How should I pray?” And in the whisper of the breeze, under the shady branches, on the banks beside the cool waters, your friend Jesus shares with you the answer to your question:
Who Art in Heaven
Hallowed be Thy Name
Thy kingdom come
Thy will be done
On earth as it is in heaven
Give us this day, our daily bread
And forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us
Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
“Our Father” 40 x 40″ Acrylic on Canvas. $4800 (Original Sold) Inspired by Matthew 6:5-15