A few years back I asked a group of youth to express the Lord's prayer as they understand it. Here's what they came up with:
God, you are really, really great. You’re in charge, whatever you say – Everywhere. Fill our needs. Forgive us while we forgive others. Keep us on your path. Help us when we’re in trouble. You’re great – and you rule forever. Amen.I love the freshness of the words -- but I don't want them to exist at the expense of what I've recited countless times over the years.
In this week's Bible reading from Luke 11:1-13, Jesus starts by telling the disciples how to pray. I've heard it often said that our recitation of the Lord's prayer becomes empty and meaningless when we simply repeat it without understanding it.
I think there is some merit to that thought, but I also think that "freshing up" the language isn't necessary for the prayer to have meaning. In our repetition of the Lord's prayer we put something so deep in our memory that when there are no words or thoughts that can express what we are feeling we can recite what is burned deep in our minds -- and God understands what our prayer really means.
What are your thoughts?