Fortunately at a youth camp 50+ years ago, with the late Bernard Johanssen as speaker, I discovered the Lord’s Prayer (Mt. 6:9-13; Lk. 11:2-4) as a kind of ‘pattern prayer’ for my prayer life. I still recall his strong, slow emphasis on ‘Hallowed be Thy Name’ as signifying ‘to be in sympathy with His holiness.’
Of course we can refer to it also as ‘The Disciples’ Prayer,’ or (as I like to do sometimes) as ‘The Family Prayer.’ Which ever way you take it, it is a helpful outline for our prayer life: sometimes ‘zeroing in’ on worship, or confession, or petition, as the Spirit may lead us, yet always coming back to the balance of the ‘Our Father.’ This coming Sunday we’ll have a discussion around this theme in our ‘house church’ (Acts 2:42)…
Then last night I came across Dallas Willard’s version of the Prayer, and found it most refreshing, so I share it with you…
‘Dear Father always near us, and filling the heavens
may your name be treasured and loved,
may your rule be completed in us –
may your will be done here on earth
in just the same way it is done in heaven.
Give us today the things we need today,
and forgive us our sins and impositions on you
as we are forgiving all who in any way offend us.
Please don’t put us through trials,
But deliver us from everything bad.
Because you are the one in charge,
And you have all the power,
And the glory too is all yours – forever –
Which is just the way we want it!’
Great, isn’t it?! [Over-all an excellent rendering of the original. With respect, Willard’s translation ‘Deliver us from everything bad’ falls short of the Greek ponerou in Mt. 6:13: it means ‘evil’ or even better, ‘evil one.’ Jesus knew all about evil supernaturalism seated in a personal enemy. Yes, that same enemy ‘almost’ destroyed me, my wife and 3 children about 20 years ago – even my agnostic psychiatrist at the time commented, ‘Mr. Mulder, I think satan has tried to kill you and your family!’ HOWEVER, let this not distract from the over-all prayer!]
Praying for you and your loved ones a richer prayer life today and always…