Friday, July 27, 2007

Praying the Jesus Prayer

This week the lectionary reading includes Jesus' instruction to the disciples as to how to pray (Luke 11:1-4). Over the years, the prayer has been translated in various ways so as to help people throughout differing time and cultures understand and appreciate the prayer as Jesus taught.

The diverse versions, both translations and paraphrases, help us gain a new perspective on the traditional prayer and open ourselves to new interpretations. One of my favorite versions comes from the New Zealand Prayer Book:

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 echoes through the universe!

The way of your justice be followed by the peoples of the earth!

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, 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 forever.


What are some of your favorite versions and how do they speak to you?


Jules said...


I've never seen or used that version. Thanks for sharing it - it is beautiful.

I often catch myself using debts/debtors, from the EUB version. The physical building of the church I attended/belonged to from 3rd grade until I left home had been EUB. After the merger, they retained some of the EUB traditions, most noticeably that one. I find that when I pray the Lord's Prayer without "thinking" and just let the words come, the EUB words are the ones that form. I wouldn't say it is my favorite version, just that one that still comes most naturally, due to being the one used most during my formative years.

Now if you want to address the various Affirmations of Faith at some point, I've got a few favorites there.


Rev. Tiffany Steinwert said...

You know I actually like "debt" and "debtors" because it helps me be mindful of the issues of economic justice that central to the Gospel message.

Jules said...

I agree. I think trespasses brings to mind encroaching on your property and that isn't what we should be thinking of (it is all in context, isn't it?).

Which words did you grow up wth?

Rev. Tiffany Steinwert said...

You know, I did not grow up churched at all. I memorized the Jesus Prayer first when I was in high school out of an old family Bible.

I think it used "debts" as did the first UM church I attended. I switched to trespasses in the forst Church that I served where it ("trespasses") was sacred.

At CWM we use "trespasses," but use "Creator" instead of "Father."

Jules said...

Ok, I knew that about the not churched growing up from previous posts but I forgot. St. Mark (and previously DFUMC) use Father and trespasses.

St. Mark offers an alternative text using Creator in the Doxology. To listen, it seems about 50/50 as to which choice people use, so I guess I'm totally appropriate when debts escapes my lips in the Lord's Prayer.

See you Thursday!