The story of Christ is one of the most powerful and influential the world has ever known.
In the Sermon on the Mount, Christ offers his disciples the Lord’s Prayer as a way to communicate directly with God.
In the piece below, I will re-present this ancient and powerful prayer in modern universal language, to make it accessible to our contemporary sensibilities.
In so doing, I aim to demonstrate that it is still highly relevant and can be used to guide our prayer and our life.
The Lord’s Prayer – Our Prayer to the Dear One.
Our Father who art in Heaven –
Dear One, Universal Consciousness that permeates all of existence
God is not a male human like figure residing in the sky looking down and judging us. That is a sad and straw man caricature of God.
The philosopher and saint, Thomas Acquinas, one of the greatest minds in history, referred to God not as a being, but rather as Being itself, as that which all beings derive their ability to Be, to exist at all.
Acquinas said that God is that Being which does not depend on anything outside itself to exist. The uncaused, first cause, from which all existence and beings flow. That Being which always was, is, and always will be.
This Being behind all beings, is known by a multitude of names around the world. It is called Brahman in India, Yahweh in Judaism, Allah in Islam, the Tao in China, the Great Spirit by the Native Americans, as well as the Divine, the Creator, the Force, the Field, the One and many others.
Whatever name you choose to use, it is a vast ocean of consciousness, pure Being itself.
It is abstract, creative potential.
It is eternal and changeless.
Beyond space, time, and matter.
From this One Being, the universe and everything in it comes into existence and this is to what we focus our mind in prayer on.
Hallowed be thy Name –
I am humbled, honoured and grateful to Be part of this great Being. I am filled with reverence and devotion for existence itself.
Acquinas said we are not separate from God, from the One Being, but rather we derive our very existence from this source. We flow from the One Being and the One is part of us and all of existence.
When we humble ourselves with reverence for the One, we are not bowing before some external force, but rather we are bowing to existence itself, to the God within, to our true Self or Soul.
Thy Kingdom come
May love, wisdom, truth and peace manifest on Earth so all creatures may live in harmony on our beautiful planet.
The kingdom of heaven (or hell for that matter), are not external locations, to seek or avoid in the afterlife, but rather are psychological states that we experience during life, dependent upon our state of mind and the way we live.
When our mind is open and equilibrated, and when we are living well, aligned with our true Self and the Oneness of Being, we live in love, wisdom, and truth, and we experience peace and true nourishment. This heaven within.
When our mind is closed, disequilibrated and in emotional turmoil however, when we are out of alignment with our true Self / Soul and living in judgment, fear, anger and insatiable desire, the result is psychological suffering and lack of fulfillment. This is hell within.
So we are asking that we align our heart and mind with the upward path of love, wisdom and peace rather than the downward path of fear, judgment and anger.
Thy Will be done, on Earth as it is in Heaven –
May the Will of the One, the Will of my Higher Self and Soul be done. (Rather than the will of my small separate egoic self).
I acknowledge that I do not always know what is best for me, as I am limited, as is my understanding.
I cannot always see the bigger picture in what is occurring, but I trust that there is a reason for everything that unfolds, even if I can’t see it, and I don’t understand.
I remember that every experience is an opportunity for awakening and growth and that I can use every situation to learn and propel me forward if I so choose.
Give me your eyes to see the world, your mind to think, and your words to speak, so that I may be a vehicle of love, wisdom, and peace.
Give us this day –
Thank you for another day of life, another opportunity to live.
I remember that life is short and that none of us know how long our life will be.
I remember that death of the body is guaranteed, but the time of death is not so the only moment I truly have is now.
I will therefore make the most of today, and give my best to my family, my friends, my work, and everything I do.
Our daily bread –
I offer myself, my life, my work, and all I do today to you, and may I be truly nourished in return.
The original Greek version of this line in the Lord’s prayer said, ‘give us each day our super substantial bread’.
The ancient version of this line is far more meaningful than its modern counterpart for it is not merely asking for the food of the body but is asking for food to feed the Soul.
It is a recognition that nothing external can ever truly satisfy us, and that what we human beings really hunger for is the nourishment that can only come from living in alignment with our higher self / our Soul / God.
It is this alignment and communion that truly feeds us and creates fulfilment within the human heart and mind.
Accordingly I will put all my heart and Soul into everything I do today in the pursuit of the highest good.
Forgive us our trespasses –
I know I have many flaws and shortcomings, but I will endeavour to do better.
I am imperfect. I am a work in progress. I often fall short of who I am and who I could be. Be patient with me dear One, and I will try to do better each day.
And we forgive those who trespass against us –
Through wisdom and compassion, help me to forgive the flaws, wrongdoings, and shortcomings of others.
Others are imperfect and they often fall short of who they are and who they could be.
Help me remember that life is hard and that most people are doing the best they can with the level of awareness that they have.
Help me see the higher self in everyone I encounter and to have compassion and understanding when dealing with others, rather than judgment and anger.
Lead us not into temptation –
May I have temperance and self-control to stay on the upward path.
Jesus said, “Enter through the narrow gate. Wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. Small is the gate and narrow is the way which leads to life, and only a few find it”.
Each day we must overcome our lower nature. Each day we choose whether we take the upward or downward path and which qualities we focus on and develop.
May we have the discipline to follow the straight and narrow path that leads to a good life and heaven on earth, rather than the downward path, with the wide gate that is difficult to resist, that leads to suffering and hell on the planet.
May I not be carried off course by the endless desires for pleasure, comfort, and ease of my lower egoic nature and its tendencies, habits, and conditioning.
May I do all the things that I know are good for me, that propel me forward.
May I stop doing all the things that I know are not good for me, that hold me back.
Deliver us from evil –
May I resist the downward path that leads to darkness and suffering, and may I instead follow the upward path that leads to the light and peace.
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn said ‘the line separating good and evil passes through every human heart’.
This is the truth of every human being and something we must all contend with.
Each of us must therefore work to restrain the darkness within ourselves, our shadow side. We must resist the pull to fear, judgment, anger, and resentment.
Instead we must continually choose to follow the upward path of love, kindness, compassion and wisdom so that we may experience peace in our life and on Earth.
Download the Lord’s Prayer Re-Presented below: