The Daily Prayer

A contemporary rendering of the Lord's Prayer

O Divine Power of Creation
Hallowed be thy name

The mystery of thy grace be with us

Give us this day our nourishment
For both body and the soul

And forgive us our shortcomings
As we forgive the shortcomings of those around us

Strengthen us in the ways of wisdom
And strengthen our spirit when confronted with evil

For thine is the glory and the power
Of all that is seen and unseen

For ever and ever

Amen

 

© 2001 Jeffrey Curran

Comments from the author:

The Lord’s Prayer from The King James Bible has been with me since childhood.  During much of my life, I have used it every day.  It has truly been a daily prayer and, believe me, the forgiving part hasn’t been easy and the temptation part has been a real big issue.  As I have moved through adolescent doubt and adult questioning, there have been times when the royal metaphors and the patriarchal attitude, which were the norms in the England of 1607, just didn’t seem like they were working for me.  Then on 9-11, as I watched the towers of The World Trade Center collapse, The Elizabethan Lord’s Prayer completely failed me.  The moment is frozen in my mind as I stood in front of the TV and got to the line, “Deliver us from Evil.”  It just didn’t work.  There was no theistic God that was going to stop what was happening.  That night, in tears and meditation, I composed the above contemporary rendering of The Lord’s Prayer.  This does not pretend to be a translation.  It is an interpretation.  I have taken the prayer and rendered into words that reflect my faith and experience.  I do not believe in a “Big Daddy God” who will keep evil things from happening.  I believe in the divine creative power of the universe that calls all human beings to overcome the pitfalls and dangers of this world and discover the redeeming power of grace and love.  Thus “Strengthen our spirit when confronted with evil.”

Topics: Devotional and Worship & Liturgy. 8 Points: Eight points. Prayers: The Lord's Prayer. Resource Types: Practice and Prayers.

Review & Commentary

  • I think this is one of the best alternatives to the Lord’s Prayer I have read. It holds the essence of the original, but finds a solid ground on the conditions of today. Thank you for sharing this, and thank you for sharing your heartfelt experience.
    God Bless,
    Shilo

  • jimoppenheimer

    Of the revisions I’ve seen, this is one of the better versions. It is not a revision, says the writer, so much as a meditation. Still it is offered as a revision:

    O Divine Power of Creation

    This abandons all of the parenthood imagery, to substitute — what? The allusion to God being That Which made the Heavens, the sea and the dry land is a new prayer.
    —————————————————-
    Hallowed be thy name

    I quite agree. There is no need for any revision of this.
    —————————————————-
    The mystery of thy grace be with us

    This substitute for “May your kingdom come” seems to me much like the writer is saying, “Nah, I don’t know what it means either, but this is a newer crack at it.”
    —————————————————-
    Give us this day our nourishment
    For both body and the soul

    I guess there is an effort to put focus on the idea that God nourishes us. However, if we take that idea seriously (I certainly do) then is there really a need to insert the completely superfluous “for both body and soul” ?? Does the writer really believe our spiritual lives are so parched that we would need this spelled out for us? Simpler is better.
    “Give us for now what we need for now.”
    —————————————————-
    And forgive us our shortcomings
    As we forgive the shortcomings of those around us

    Now this I actually think is an improvement on the older version!
    —————————————————-
    Strengthen us in the ways of wisdom
    And strengthen our spirit when confronted with evil

    Probably the toughest part of the prayer, and perhaps one that arguably doesn’t originate with Our Lord anyway. God does not lead anyone into temptation!
    However, it is absolutely right to say “Deliver us from evil.” Deliverance is in that form spoken of by Julian of Norwich: “All shall be well. All manner of things shall be well.”
    Actually, it was Our Lord who said this to her in one of her visions:
    “But Jesus, who in this vision informed me of all that is needed by me, answered with these words and said: ‘It was necessary that there should be sin; but all shall be well, and all shall be well. All manner of things shall be well.’ ”
    Deliverance does not mean keeping the evil away — or all of our talk of God is a lie!
    The Lord’s Prayer uses the phrase, “Deliver us from evil.” (It is identical in the short form one finds in Luke, meaning it was part of the original material, not a later insertion) I can see where one might want the more active “strengthen us”, but that is a new prayer, not a revision of the old.
    Just as the victim of incurable cancer, that most ancient of evils, will surely find their triumph and deliverance on their deathbed, and just as those thousands of innocents found their deliverance amid the swirling flaming ionisation of all things in the collapsing Towers, we all pray for deliverance.
    —————————————————-
    For thine is the glory and the power
    Of all that is seen and unseen

    I like this way of getting around the kingdom. Does it change the meaning to suggest that the power and glory only matter as emanations of God’s domain [kingdom]?
    —————————————————-
    For ever and ever

    I suppose it is picky to say either “Forever’, or following Luther, “eternally”

    “For the power and glory of all that is — seen and unseen — are eternally yours. Amen.”

    This is the best revision of the Lord’s Prayer I’ve seen. It truly strives to speak from the same viewpoint, something the others seldom seem to attempt.