And He said to them, “When you pray, say: Our Father Who is in heaven…” [amplified]
In recent years, I have been a little resistant to praying “our” father during the Lord’s prayer. It just seemed less personal so I started changing all the pronouns to the first person (My Father … etc.). I enjoyed that intimacy and wrapped myself in the cocoon of His promises.
Today, I had a small epiphany. I decided to pray the Lord’s prayer on behalf of my family and of course, by doing that, I returned to the traditional pronouns. But then, I thought, I could also pray on behalf of my neighbors who may not know this prayer… or I could pray on behalf of my neighborhood, or my town, or my state… and off I went and the realization hit: the “Our Father” is an intercessory prayer for the human race and for the ages. There is no “religion” or belief that cannot embrace the prayer that Jesus taught his disciples. Our “father” is God and that is a loving relationship that God wants for us and by entering into this relationship and acknowledging God, we can ask for (and receive) provision, forgiveness, and protection.
Our Father in heaven,
Hallowed be Your name.
Your kingdom come.
Your will be done
On earth as it is in heaven.
Give us day by day our daily bread.
And forgive us our sins,
For we also forgive everyone who is indebted to us.
And do not lead us into temptation,
But deliver us from the evil one.”
[Luke 11:2-4] Amen. So be it.