In this series, I’m discussing The Lord’s Prayer, and why I believe it reflects some of Jesus’ most radical and challenging ideas. The prayer is meant to be descriptive of how to pray, not prescriptive on what to pray. In Part 6, we look at the difficulty in following God’s desires.
When you pray, say…
“May we not be severely tested.”
Like Jesus, in his life and teachings, The Lord’s Prayer stirs things up – it is a radical prayer.
It challenges us to live in accordance with God’s desires, not in accordance with those of the world or even to accommodate our own personal wish list.
The way God does things is neither recognized nor followed by many in this troubled world.
It’s inevitable, then, that those who try to do things God’s way might be perceived as enemies and face negative or even repressive pressures as a result. Running against the grain, as God asks us to do as disciples, may cause us to be severely tested.
But, with the love of God, we can endure all things.
With the help of God, the severity of worldly trials can be lessened.
So, in following Jesus’ radical prayer, “may we not be severely tested,” I offer this suggestion:
When you pray say, “We are your people and we seek your desires for ourselves and for the world in which we live. It will not be easy. Be with us in times of trials and sustain us in your love.”
When you pray say…
If it makes people uncomfortable, well, you might be doing something right.
Do not let the earthly existence you have now be enough.
Do not let the relationship you have with God now be enough.
Ask for something better.
Ask for something more in line with God’s desires than the world’s desires.
Ask for something more in line with God’s desires than YOUR desires.
Taking this whole series into consideration, here is one version of “The Lord’s Prayer” that I’d suggest. Remember, this is not PREscriptive, it’s DEscriptive.
When you pray say:
Holy Creator, giver and sustainer of life,
the one we love.
The one who loved us first.
is not what it should be
but it is ready to be
what you desire it to be.
Let us be
to one another
and to the world.
We commit ourselves
to strive for what we really need
and not for what
we might need
or should need
or even don’t need.
Remove the things in our lives
that undermine our sense of
the dependability of
and our dependence on
each other and on you.
As we are gifted with forgiveness,
help us forgive others
and in doing so be ready
to receive your forgiveness.
We are your people
and we seek your desires
and for the world in which we live.
It will not be easy.
Be with us in times of trials
and sustain us in your love.