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February 24, 2010 / Katie

An Inclusive Lord’s Prayer

I was at a retreat recently and the chaplain led us in an opening worship that included this beautiful, creative interpretation of the Lord’s Prayer (found in its most traditional form here for those not familiar with it). This comes to us from the New Zealand Prayer Book.

Eternal Spirit,
Earth-Maker, Pain-bearer, Life-giver
Source of all that is and all that shall be,
Father and Mother of us all,
Loving God who is in heaven:

The hallowing of your name echo through the universe!
The way of your justice be followed by people of the world!
Your heavenly will be done by all created beings!
Your commonwealth of peace and freedom sustain our hope and come on earth.

With bread we need for today, feed us.
In the hurts we absorb from one another forgive us.
In times of temptation and test, strengthen us.
From trials too great to endure, 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.
May it be so. Amen.

Not only is this a much more inclusive translation (the whole first paragraph replaces “Our Father who art in heaven”) but it updates the language and makes it more accessible and understandable. It highlights justice; trades “kingdom” for “commonwealth,” and clarifies that the power of God is the power of love.

I wonder how Christianity (and Christians) might look different if we lived out this prayer each day of our lives.

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5 Comments

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  1. Lori / Feb 24 2010 4:05 pm

    I love the New Zealand Prayer Book.

  2. Cleric at Large / Feb 24 2010 4:16 pm

    I love that book, and the prayer for Compline:

    “It is night after a long day.
    What has been done has been done;
    what has not been done has not been done;
    let it be.”

    The story I’ve heard about that Lord’s Prayer is that it was translated into Maori, and then transliterated back into English. But that’s utterly apocryphal and quite likely untrue. A lovely story, though.

  3. JeninCanada / Feb 24 2010 4:43 pm

    I like it. As a Pagan, I’m all about inclusive prayers and this one is pretty good.

  4. cloakedmonk / Feb 28 2010 6:00 pm

    Nice! I love to listen to the congregation pray the Lord’s Prayer. I think that might be the common denominator for Christian churches. It would be so cool to have a recording of the Lord’s Prayers in various translations and languages. Set over some really fabulous mystical music and you have a party in my heart!

  5. Giniliz / Mar 25 2010 1:33 pm

    The UCC I used to attend here in Carbondale uses this version of the Lords Prayer regularly. It is so beautiful. As cloakedmonk says above, it’s neat that there is this common ground found in so many places where Christians gather – even when the words are quite different, there is still some sense of joining in a great fellowship with others. Communion has the same connection point for me, even though we have so many different ways of approaching that too.

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