We are all used to saying the Lord’s Prayer. We say it every week in church. We say it at funerals. We say it at significant moments in our lives. We may sometimes hesitate as to whether we say the old or the modern version, but apart from that, the Lord’s Prayer is a very familiar part of our lives, and of countless believers around the world. It has been translated into hundreds, if not thousands of languages over the centuries. My favourite version is one in Scottish I saw in Israel a few years back (see above!).
But sometimes we can be so familiar with the Lord’s Prayer that we don’t really think about what we are saying. That’s why I set the young people at the Monday group a challenge – to rewrite the Lord’s Prayer in today’s language. It was a fascinating exercise and it taught us a number of things:
- There are words in the Lord’s Prayer which we say but don’t necessarily understand. What does it mean for the Lord’s name to be hallowed? Or for His kingdom to come? It certainly reminded me we need to teach and teach again on the Lord’s Prayer (maybe a future sermon series!?)
- There is so much meaning in each phrase it is really difficult to sum up all that Jesus is saying in other words. Plus, some of the concepts in the Lord’s Prayer really are quite unfamiliar to our Western world today, such as keeping the Lord’s name holy, or depending on Him for our daily bread.
- We also notice how much of the prayer is about “Our” and “Us”. So often we think of the Lord’s Prayer as something we say as individuals. But the prayer is Jesus’ gift to the church and designed to be said together by the whole family of God.
All in all, by the end of the evening, we ended up with a new appreciation of Jesus’ words and decided that the original was the best. However we have written up our own version, and we’ll be leaving it in the hall area over the next few days. Can you improve upon it? We look forward to your suggestions!