Debbie Salter Goodwin
Praying the Lord's Prayer
I can’t remember when I memorized the Lord’s Prayer or how it came about. The words roll out of my mouth without even thinking about them.
That’s the problem. We know it so well, we don’t know it all. Repetition can anchor but it can also dilute.
That’s why I want to take a slow, thoughtful, heart-soaking look at this prayer Jesus used to teach us how to prayer. I believe that when Jesus used this prayer with his disciples, he prayed it; he didn’t recite it. He filled each word with meaning and connection so tangible you could sense the Unseen Ever-present Eternal One hovering close. Isn’t that what we all long for when we pray? An answering God who shows up?
We begin where Jesus began with the name that reminds us that relationship is the most important part of any prayer.
It blows between your lips like a whisper, a gentle breeze, a reminder of something you are supposed to know and too often forget. We have an umbilical relationship to the God of the universe. We were created with more than a genetic code. Every cell in our body bears the image of God. We were His before two cells joined to form our bodies. We were His before our parents met.
Say it until that creation connection reminds you that you are more than the sum of your parents. You are more than a product of your experiences. Say it until every human meaning of the word dissolves before the One Who owned it first.
Then, you will be ready to pray. Your heart will open to the One Who created you. Every other word that follows has new source and definition. A love that you didn’t earn overpowers every other unloving thought or experience.
It’s not an invitation anymore. You become the called one and His name is your answer. That is when you begin to hallow his name.
This week, begin every prayer with Our Father. Do it to remind yourself that His love has drawn a wide circle and you are included in it. Live from that connection and nothing else will bring more healing or empowerment.
Praying with you.