On the Lord's Prayer - Jim Holmes

Dear Friends,

A couple of weeks ago my spouse Tim and a friend were in church.  After the service they reported that they had prayed conflicting Lord's Prayers, one using the "old" Lord's Prayer, the one printed in the service leaflet, and the other using the "new" Lord's Prayer which is found as an alternative in Rite II services.

Having different Lord's Prayers is nothing new.  There are two versions in the Bible.  The one in Matthew is a longer form and was a part of the Sermon on the Mount.  The one in Luke is shorter and is given in response to a request from the disciples to have a prayer that they could say, just at John the Baptist's disciples had a prayer.  Matthew's version concludes with "deliver us from evil" while Luke's ends with "lead us not into temptation."

If we visit a Presbyterian Church we will hear "forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors" rather than "forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us."  If we visit a place which still uses the 1662 English Book of Common Prayer we will hear "which art in heaven," rather than "who art", "in earth" rather than "on earth" and so on.  If we visit a Roman Catholic church we might note that the doxology (for thine is the kingdom. . . .) is missing, or comes in later.

Far from dividing us in the various translations, however, the Lord's Prayer is something which virtually all Christians throughout the world use as a part of their worship.  And which virtually all Christians use as a part of their personal devotions.  When I visit people with memory issues, even severe ones, the Lord's Prayer is something which most remember even when other memories have vanished.

When you come to Emmanuel I invite you to use the Lord's Prayer which is most comfortable for you.   "Our Father who art in heaven," "Our Father in heaven,"  "Pater noster, qui es in caelis,"  "Πατερ ἡμων ὁ ἐν τοις οὐρανοις,"  "Vater unser im Himmel," "Padre nuestro que estás en los cielos," "Notre Père, qui es aux cieux," "Отче наш, Иже еси на небесех!"

It is the prayer our Savior has taught us, so we continue to pray it regularly as we await the Kingdom for which it asks.