God has place this wonderful creation in our hands. As U2 sings, "It's a beautiful day, don't let it slip away." We have this one life to live on this beautiful planet so enjoy these reflections on God, faith, life, and music. "After the flood all of the colors came out. It's a beautiful day."

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Ash Wednesday, Pray Then in This Way

Lent with the Lord's Prayer

This lent I will be spending my time immersed in the Lord’s Prayer. Words, as Protestants, we say once a week on Sunday unless we happen to use a devotional that has you say the prayer as part of its practice. The Lord’s Prayer is found in three places. In Matthew it comes as part of the Sermon on the Mount with Jesus saying first you don’t want to pray like a hypocrite showing your piety before the world. Instead, pray alone with God as your company. God already knows what you need so you don’t need to overwhelm God with words. Instead, when you pray then pray like this:
'Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, 10 your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. 11 Give us today our daily bread. 12 Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. 13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.' Matthew 6:9-13
The second place the Lord’s Prayer is found is in the Gospel of Luke. Jesus is taking time alone to pray and after he is finished praying the disciples ask Jesus to teach them how to pray.
2 He said to them, "When you pray, say: Father, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come. 3 Give us each day our daily bread. 4 And forgive us our sins, for we ourselves forgive everyone indebted to us. And do not bring us to the time of trial." Luke 11:2-4
The words are slightly different. Luke mentions sin and asks for bread each day instead of today. Matthew asks us to forgive those we owe debt to while Luke wants us to forgive those who are in debt to us. Luke asks us not to be brought to trial, while Matthew asks that we aren’t led into temptation and are delivered from the evil one.

The Third place the Lord’s Prayer is found is in the Didache. The Didache is thought to be one of the early catechisms. This teaching was used to instruct Christians in how to become a Christian and what that means for living your life.
Didache Chap. VIII.
1. Let not your fasts be with the hypocrites, for they fast on the second and fifth day of the week; but ye shall fast on the fourth day, and the preparation day (Friday).
2. Neither pray ye as the hypocrites, but as the Lord commanded in His Gospel, so pray ye: "Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy Name. Thy Kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so on earth. Give us this day our daily (needful) bread. And forgive us our debt as we also forgive our debtors. And bring us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one (or, from evil). For Thine is the power and the glory for ever."
3. Pray thus thrice a day.
This version is the closest to how we pray. It includes the last line and the Amen which is left out of the other two versions. What I find interesting in this teaching is that we as Christians are asked to pray the Lord’s Prayer three times a day. Think about this as a Lenten practice. What will change in your life as you keep these words before you three times a day? To help you remember to say the Lord’s Prayer make the prayer a part of your grace at meal time. Or pray the prayer in the morning at noon and before bed. Let me know what experiences you have with praying the Lord’s Prayer three times every day.
Our Father, 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 debts
as we forgive our debtors;
and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil:
for thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever.

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