He said to them, ‘When you pray, say: Father, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come. Give us each day our daily bread. And forgive us our sins, for we ourselves forgive everyone indebted to us. And do not bring us to the time of trial.’ -Luke 11:1-4

Yesterday in worship I talked with the Calvary UMC folks about the importance of balancing both technique/ritual/routine AND passion/action when it comes to prayer. There is power in praying a a written ritual prayer like “The Lord’s Prayer” because it teaches us how to pray, gives us a common language among Christian communities, and brings us together as people have prayed this prayer across time and place. However, when we get so used to saying the same words over and over again, they can often lose their meaning. When we pray The Lord’s Prayer what are we really saying? What are we asking God? How are we committing to live?

In order to find a good balance of ritual and passion, I challenged folks at Calvary to do one of two things this week, and I challenge you all to do the same:
1. If you are new to the Christian community and/or are not comfortable with prayer, I invite you to practice praying The Lord’s Prayer every day this week. Learn the ritual and the technique Jesus offers his disciples.
2. If The Lord’s Prayer is something you’ve had memorized for years, I challenge you to re-write it in your own words, line by line. In doing so, you will make the words relevant for your own life and really think about the words you say all the time. 

I never give a challenge without doing it myself, so below you will find The Lord’s Prayer how we typically pray it each week in worship as well as my own personal re-write. I hope this week’s challenge helps your prayer life and your relationship with God grow.

The Lord’s Prayer
Our Father who art in heaven
hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come, thy will be done
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread
and forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who have trespassed against us.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom, and the power,
and the glory for ever.
Amen.

The Lord’s Prayer Re-written
by Pastor Annie

O God, who loves us like a parent loves their child,
your very name is holy and your presence is sacred.
May your realm of gracious love for all
and your will for peace and justice be present everywhere.
Fill our bellies with good food, physically and spiritually,
and forgive us when we mess up,
as we strive to forgive those who have harmed us and work toward healing.
Guide every part of our lives so that we may do what is good and right,
and save us from our evil ways.
For EVERYTHING is yours, including us.
You are amazing, God!
Amen.

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