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Collected Notes on The Lord’s Prayer

Revised.

When people asked Jesus how to pray, he offered them the simple, enduring words of the Lord’s prayer.

Here is my “translation” of the prayer a song lyric.

Abba whose home in heaven is
Hallowed and holy is your name
Let your realm come your will be done
Til earth and heaven are the same

Give us this day our daily bread
Forgive the wrongs that we have done
As we forgive those who do wrong
Lead us not into temptation

Deliver us from evil Lord
And guide us safely to your shore
Yours is the power to heal and mend
Yours is the glory evermore

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Abba whose home in heaven is
Hallowed and holy is your name

>>>Abba father is Jesus’s familiar address for the one we call God. It denotes a reality vastly different from the God of creeds and theology. This One lives in the realm of heaven which is the place where one can see and hear and understand, precisely as we cannot see and hear and understand here on earth. Unless we begin to forge some links with heaven. (This relates to our fundamental incapacity to arrive at “truth” about anything.)

Let your realm come your will be done
Till earth and heaven are the same

>>>This is what life is all about, our reason for being. If Jesus right, we are here to move closer to heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread

>>>We are not alone. Someone is there to give to us. And we have a right to call what is given “our”.

Forgive the wrongs that we have done

>>>But only if and as we can forgive others.

As we forgive those who do wrong

Lead us not into temptation

>>>We are human, after all.

Deliver us from evil Lord

>>>Ultimately we need deliverance. This is the conclusion of the prayer in Mark’s version.

And guide us safely to your shore
Yours is the power to heal and mend
Yours is the glory evermore

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Abba whose home in heaven is

>>>Abba is within all persons. It is possible to access within the reality of Abba which is love, acceptance, desire for our fulfillment. We are one with the one who forgives as we forgive. Abba is within us.

Hallowed and holy is your name

>>>Our world is laced with violence and profanity to the point that we cannot watch TV without being awash in it. The notion that anything is holy and hallowed is beyond reach of many minds. But just as Abba is within, so too in each set of eyes that reads these words there is the capacity to see holiness and hallowed-ness. We are a spectrum as is everything else.

Let your realm come your will be done
Til earth and heaven are the same

>>>We who speak peace and reconciliation are deemed naive and foolish or even as authors of evil, for from our utopian visions may spring unintended consequences that are neither peaceful nor reconciling. Nevertheless, heaven is inconceivable unless it is a place of peace and reconciliation. And Jesus wants us to pray always that earth be the same.

Give us this day our daily bread

>>>I hope you will make this little nook on the Web a daily bit of bread for you.

Forgive the wrongs that we have done
As we forgive those who do wrong

>>>Consider how easy it is to sit exactly where you are and review all of those you have NOT forgiven. And consider that if Jesus is correct you can never be whole without forgiving, that Abba might welcome you into the fellowship of heaven in the midst of life.

Lead us not into temptation

>>>What about when we have already let temptation sieze us. How do we know? When we know what we are doing is dead wrong.

Deliver us from evil Lord

>>>It is evil to be yielding to temptation and the only way out is to face it and deal with it. Abba is there to help you get out of the bind.

And guide us safely to your shore
Yours is the power to heal and mend
Yours is the glory evermore

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Tuesday, September 05, 2006
Lord’s Prayer Interpretation 5 September 2006

I strongly recommend you visit my Lord’s Prayer Song page. It is a simple composition I recorded with my Radio Shack keyboard using an excellent little Plantronics mike — my effort to replicate pre-digital “field recordings” of the sort that turned me on to music in the first place.

You can do your own version.

Or you can sing harmony to this.

Abba whose home in heaven is
Hallowed and holy is your name
Let your realm come your will be done
Til earth and heaven are the same

Give us this day our daily bread
Forgive the wrongs that we have done
As we forgive those who do wrong
Lead us not into temptation

Deliver us from evil Lord
And guide us safely to your shore
Yours is the power to heal and mend
Yours is the glory evermore

COMMENTARY:

Abba whose home in heaven is
Hallowed and holy is your name
Let your realm come your will be done
Til earth and heaven are the same

>>>On certain days, in certain places we can see that earth and heaven are not that far apart. We have only our own experience of heaven on earth to go by. No one has ever seen heaven and reported back. Some visions exist, but they are less relevant than our own experience.

Of love.

Love as the fruit of good will, fellow feeling, magical connectivity, experienced interaction, good friendship, peaceful co-existence. I once had a memorable luncheon with a novelist whose name I will not drop. As we walked along the streets of New York he gestured to all of the people and asked, “Isn’t it amazing?”

“What?”

“They are not tearing each other apart.”

In most areas of the world today, people are not tearing each other apart. And in many areas people are enjoying one another, loving one another, affirming one another.

Not only is heaven on earth evident when people are in right relationship to one another and to Abba, but also there is the matter of earth itself, the vistas that are part of creation, not just Abba’s creation which is unfathomable and inexplicable, but our own, which we understand to some extent.

Heaven relates to quality, as Robert Pirsig implies in Zen and The Art of Motorcycle Maintenance.

Heaven relates to honesty as Kate Millett and other sharing authors make manifest in works like Millett’s Flying.

Heaven relates to the conjunction of visions. When I was between college and seminary I had two such visions. One of boats on the ocean coalescing with a star-filled sky so that there was no way to distinguish where the lights ended and the stars began, and one when I was feverish and coming through a cold at the Chapel of the Ognissanti in Florence, when in the midst of a solitary afternoon time in the largely empty sanctuary, a mysterious music rose up and siezed me somehow. In both cases what was impressed upon me at a level too deep ever to reject or deny was/is the ultimate unity of all.

The world wrapped in the penumbra of heaven — yet the world’s people unable always to see, hear or understand.

Give us this day our daily bread
Forgive the wrongs that we have done
As we forgive those who do wrong
Lead us not into temptation

Deliver us from evil Lord
And guide us safely to your shore
Yours is the power to heal and mend
Yours is the glory evermore

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Wednesday, September 06, 2006
Lord’s Prayer Interpretation 6 September 2006

Abba whose home in heaven is
Hallowed and holy is your name
Let your realm come your will be done
Til earth and heaven are the same

Give us this day our daily bread
Forgive the wrongs that we have done
As we forgive those who do wrong
Lead us not into temptation

Deliver us from evil Lord
And guide us safely to your shore
Yours is the power to heal and mend
Yours is the glory evermore

I am not superstitious. Superstition pervades religion and, I believe, gives it a bad name. Though, possibly giving a bad name to religion helps clear the decks for a time that will move beyond the intolerance of religions to an acknowledgement that at bottom it is the values we live by and understandings we have that tell.

This is a preface to the uncanny tendency of the Lord’s Prayer or the Abba Prayer to produce results during times of waiting when an outcome is desired. This could mean saying it while waiting for an elevator. In this case, saying it or singing it silently (prayer is not for show) may simply take enough time for the elevator to come.

So any connection between the prayer and a result is purely subjective.

But I tend to use this prayer more and more to fill up spaces and I must confess I do pay some attention to effects and results.

I think praying that claims results is both absurd and not absurd. As with anything there is a spectrum from the manipulative uses of prayer associated with some television religionists to the non-expecting, non-manipulative experience of forms of grace that seem to arise when one is attuned to the prayer.

Let us assume that Jesus was and is the ultimate teacher of how one is to live. Let’s divorce that entirely from religion and creed and center it on some of the undeniable elements of that teaching:

The Beatitudinal way.

The Way of Suspended Judgment (Judge not.)

The Negotiational Way. (Do not go to law. Arrive at an agreement.)

Healing and Feeding as the Main Miracles — replicable by us.

And so forth.

This Teacher is the one who gave us this short, succinct prayer as THE prayer we are to pray. If we prayed nothing else, we would be safely within the bounds of Jesus’ teaching. Since Jesus brings good news of Abba’s nearness and presence, can we not assume that when we speak or sing this prayer in silence or out loud, we place ourselves within the stream of Abba’s grace?

A corollary is that when we are disappointed with the “results”, we fall into deep temptation if we get into convoluted reasoning that relates to how to make the prayer “work” for us.

I leave you with a paradox. It does work. But saying so does not make it so. One can only have one’s own experience and share it for whatever it might be worth.

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Lord’s Prayer Interpretation 7 September 2006

Abba whose home in heaven is
Hallowed and holy is your name
Let your realm come your will be done
Til earth and heaven are the same

Give us this day our daily bread
Forgive the wrongs that we have done
As we forgive those who do wrong
Lead us not into temptation

Deliver us from evil Lord
And guide us safely to your shore
Yours is the power to heal and mend
Yours is the glory evermore

FOCUS IS ON “WE” AND “US”

Abba whose home in heaven is
Hallowed and holy is your name
Let your realm come your will be done
Til earth and heaven are the same

Give us this day our daily bread

>>>This forever places Jesus on the universal side of things. Ultimately we are individuals only for the purpose of affirming our we-ness, our us-ness.

When I walk the streets and my mood is not overly-self-concerned, I try to look into the faces of those I pass to see Abba there. On a good day I see Abba in every face. Abba transcends all words and though intensely personal and within is also pervasive. Abba is the context of all life. Jesus taught us to pray as us.

Forgive the wrongs that we have done

>>>Here is the second plural reference in the prayer that Jesus taught. We are not even to include just our own wrongs when praying for forgiveness. That is a huge insight. We are to pray corporately as a universal community that inevitably stands in need of forgiveness, of a cutting of slack, of space to start over and so forth.

As we forgive those who do wrong

>>>Here is the third affirmation of we-ness. We is not merely those who do in fact practice Abba’s Way which is the way of forgiveness, of negotiation, of a transcending of violence, cruelty and wrath toward others. It is everyone. Everyone is involved in the need to practice forgiveness and to receive forgiveness. It is the simple reality of trying to live in the world. And it is also a testimony to our complete inability to recognize the ripples and waves that emanate from each person, creating the context for the need for forgiveness and the need to be forgiven. Our interconnection is not merely a matter of positive fact, it is also a matter of negative impact when our conscious and unconscious actions result in enabling chains of reaction that implicate us in the life and death of others we cannot see and will never know.

Lead us not into temptation

>>>Here is the fourth time the first person plural is used in this seminal and ultimately paridigmatic prayer. Not lead me. Lead us. We act so much more than we know with countless people looking over our shoulder, because we are sensitive at all times to who is evaluating us, even when they are far gone, or even strangers we conjure up in our endless personal dialog as we create our days and nights.

Deliver us from evil Lord

>>>A fifth plural. There is no I in this prayer. Does this mean we should not pray this individually? Absolutely not. We SHOULD pray it to ourselves. But we need to be aware that when we do we are affirming our universal commonality with all creatures.

And guide us safely to your shore
Yours is the power to heal and mend
Yours is the glory evermore

Saturday, October 07, 2006
Lord’s Prayer Interpretation 7 October 2006

Abba whose home in heaven is

>>> Heaven = A Realm Where Relationships are Right, Where We Are Free.

Hallowed and holy is your name

>>> Hallowed means treated with reverence, so too Holy. At some point in life, reverence kicks in. If it is to a lesser reality, like this or that celebrity, or nation, or thought, the lesser the … reality.

Let your realm come your will be done

>>> The mandate for all action toward justice and the establishment of the terms for love to exist in freedom.

Til earth and heaven are the same

>>> The project of existence.

Give us this day our daily bread

>>> All we need to live.

Forgive the wrongs that we have done

>>> We cannot total the wrongs as we are not party to all the effects of our actions and speech.

As we forgive those who do wrong

>>> Nor can we know all who may have wronged us, though we can blanket forgive them, not an easy thing to do for those with thick skins and long memories.

Lead us not into temptation

>>> The more we pray this the more we are likely to identify what constitutes tempatation for us.

Deliver us from evil Lord

>>> Evil is real, like trouble. We need deliverance from it. To the extent the world is oriented to this prayer we are at least alert to the processes and effects of temptation and of the evil that we as persons have a hand in creating, or in not preventing.

And guide us safely to your shore
Yours is the power to heal and mend
Yours is the glory evermore

Posted by Adam at 7:45 AM 0 comments

Friday, October 06, 2006
Lord’s Prayer Interpretation 6 October 2006

Abba whose home in heaven is
Hallowed and holy is your name
Let your realm come your will be done
Til earth and heaven are the same

Give us this day our daily bread
Forgive the wrongs that we have done
As we forgive those who do wrong
Lead us not into temptation

Deliver us from evil Lord
And guide us safely to your shore
Yours is the power to heal and mend
Yours is the glory evermore

Pain and Prayer

Abba whose home in heaven is

>>>> For me it is possible to sing this at my little Radio Shack keyboard next to my computer and banish pain, at least temporarily. As now. I have run through the tune of this in several rhythms and tempos several times and now the pain has receded. So closely interwoven are the physical manifestations of pain with largely-unfathomable mental and spiritual states that there is no simple or easy answer to why the recession takes place.

Teeth have been my big issue and I lost two recently and now feel intermittent pain from another. You do not want to know about this. I mention it only because the pain is not there now.

I advocate the use of this prayer as the main and even the only spiritual discipline. It is what Jesus taught. It has everything we need to be saying and thinking in it.

And it begins always with the acknowledgement that there is a parent of the universe, a loving force, a reality beyond and within, that (who) we are to acknowledge as our most intimate friend and companion.

A painless life is impossible. But a life that confronts pain, and all other events, with the Abba prayer, the only one Jesus taught and commended, close at hand is better lived than one which denies the very source of all that is good and right and positive in existence.

Religion is receding. Explicit creedal and conformist religion business has no place in the world that is being born.

Abba front and center.

Hallowed and holy is your name
Let your realm come your will be done
Til earth and heaven are the same

Give us this day our daily bread
Forgive the wrongs that we have done
As we forgive those who do wrong
Lead us not into temptation

Deliver us from evil Lord
And guide us safely to your shore
Yours is the power to heal and mend
Yours is the glory evermore



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