No doubt, the Lord’s Prayer is the most venerated and most recited Christian prayer. And I believe that most Christians naturally find and acknowledge the authority of the Lord’s prayer because this prayer is what Jesus himself taught his disciples to pray.
“Pray then in this way…” (Matthew 6:9)
“When you pray, say…” (Luke 11:2)
In our church, we recite the prayer together every Sunday; we use it as a closing prayer for our prayer meetings; we teach children how to memorize it and how to use it in their daily lives. Yes, we better use this meaningful prayer frequently and share it with more people. However, as we repetitiously recite the Lord’s Prayer, we sometimes find ourselves getting so much used to its words that we fail to be mindful of its meaning. And as we routinely offer the prayer with liturgical formality, we sometimes miss our chances to reflect on its inspirations more deeply. In fact, the most recited prayer can mean, in a way, the most customary and hackneyed prayer.
So today, I share with you a different version of the Lord’s Prayer that can stimulate us to refocus on true meaning of the prayer and renew our dull sense of appreciation. I was told that this Lord’s Prayer is painted on the wall of one church in Uruguay, but I can’t find its original source. So I had to translate it from Korean. I hope that when reading this version of the Lord’s Prayer, you meet the Lord’s Prayer anew today.
Don’t say “our,”
If you live only for yourself.
Don’t say “Father,”
If you fail to live as a child of God each day.
Don’t say “who art in heaven,”
If you are preoccupied with worldly things all the time.
Don’t say “hallowed be thy name,”
If you always yearn for elevating your name.
Don’t say “thy kingdom come,”
If you desire only to be well-off in this materialistic world.
Don’t say “thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven,”
If you strive for making your will be done at all times.
Don’t say “give us this day our daily bread,”
If you ignore the hungry and the needy around you.
Don’t say “forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us,”
If you still bear a grudge against someone.
Don’t say “lead us not into temptation,”
If you secretly allow yourself to indulge in mundane attractions.
Don’t say, “deliver us from evil,”
If you refuse to hear the saving voice of the Spirit every moment.
Don’t say “amen,”
If you feel unsure of offering the Lord’s Prayer as your own prayer.
Pastor Earl Kim's weekly reflections