The Lord’s prayer is among the best-known passages in the Bible. Sometimes it is the only thing people know to recite when it comes to prayer. But I often worry that we have some wrong ideas/bad theology that is formed out of how we understand this prayer.
For example – the prayer starts “Our Father, which art in Heaven”…. Do we think this means that God is far removed – that God dwells afar in a distant place called Heaven? Because I don’t think that is the God that Jesus knew, and it’s not the God I know. The God I know is close, involved even in the seemingly mundane or silly parts of my life.
Dallas Willard took a crack at re-writing or re-imagining this prayer as part of his book, The Divine Conspiracy. And I find his translation so very helpful. So here it is. I hope it will bless you as it has me:
Dear Father always near us,
may your name be treasured and loved,
may your rule be completed in us-
may your will be done here on earth in
just the way it is done in heaven.
Give us today the things we need today,
and forgive us our sins and impositions on you
as we are forgiving all who in any way offend us.
Please don’t put us through trials,
but deliver us from everything bad.
Because you are the one is charge,
and you have all the power, and the glory too is all yours-forever-
which is just the way we want it!
Amen (or Willard would be thrilled if you went “Whoopee!”)