The prayer that Jesus taught is a simple, supremely effective tool to slice away anything in us that is not humble or sincere. It is the best, most straightforward antidote to all our articulate spiritual nonsense. Over time, it makes us real.

This resource dives deep into one of the treasures of the Christian tradition: the Lord’s Prayer. With a mix of reflections written by Brothers and meditation prompts for you to answer, this is a resource to deepen your own prayer life or to share in a group. We hope you’ll join us in reflecting on the prayer that Jesus taught, and experience firsthand its power to make us real.

Interactive Lord's Prayer

We invite you to deepen your experience of the Lord's Prayer, verse by verse, with these prompts for further reflection, journalling, discussion, or prayer.

What does the pronoun “our” invite in you and for you? 

Jesus teaches us, “your Father already knows what you need before you ask him.” So why is Jesus praying? Why are you? 

Where do you see signs of God’s Kingdom here on earth?

 

 

 

How are you being called by God to be an answer to Jesus’ prayer that God’s “kingdom come...will be done, on earth as in heaven”? 

 

Think about your daily routine. Where in your day do you feel a sense of contentment, fulfillment, or satiation? What are you doing? Who are you with? Describe the experience.

Imagine your day without this experience. How do you feel? What does your body need? Bring this to God in prayer.

 

Where do you need to seek forgiveness today?

 

 

Whom and what do you need to forgive to unburden yourself – and them?

Did you learn this line of the prayer as “Save us from the time of trial” or “Lead us not into temptation”? Which petition resonates more with you now, and why?

What trials or temptations are you wrestling with? Pray to Jesus, your Savior, about them.

The Lord’s Prayer invites us to pray not just for ourselves, but for others. With whom do you bind yourself in prayer? Pray for their deliverance.

Where does the evil in our world confront your heart? Give it to God in prayer.

Where are you in touch with God’s power and God’s glory? 

How can you channel them in your life?

 

 

As humans made in God’s image, we co-create with God , building up the Kingdom, using God’s power, and reflecting God’s glory. How might you offer yourself more fully to God in this?

Offer to God a promise or a prayer about right “now.”

Offer a promise or prayer about the future, God’s “forever.”

 

 

Selected Articles

Being an Answer to Jesus’ Prayer

By Br. Curtis Almquist

“Jesus here regards his disciples not as his servants, but as his friends. They are his peers. They share the same prayer. He doesn’t say, “My Father,” or “Your Father.” He says, “Our Father.””

Remember the Words He Taught You

By Br. Lucas Hall

“Many of us are wearied by the changes and the uncertainty of our civil lives, our political communities. I certainly am. But we can take heart, and pray together for the coming of God’s kingdom; it is a hope, big and sturdy enough for us all.”

Our Daily Bread

By Br. Lain Wilson

“We all have needs. We all have hungers. And I think that by identifying them, and in recognizing how these needs affect us physically, we can begin to recapture something of the immediacy and materiality of praying for our daily bread.”

God Loves Humans

By Br. David Vryhof

“If forgiveness is one of the most powerful forces for redemption in the Christian faith, unforgiveness is one of the most powerful forces for destruction. Unforgiveness hardens the heart. It magnifies a perceived offense to the point where we can no longer appreciate a person’s value because all we see is how they have grieved us. No wonder the petition about forgiveness – “Forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us” – sits at the heart of the Lord’s Prayer.”

Prayer with Substance

By Br. Keith Nelson

“It is quite easy to heap up empty phrases. In such moments, what hope do we have? For me, it is the Lord’s Prayer.”

Lead Us Not into Temptation

By Br. Jim Woodrum

 

“In the recitation of the Lord’s Prayer each day, I am reminded that if I turn to God in my moments of temptation, then I, like Jesus, will be able to dismiss temptation’s toxicity, and be fortified and empowered to live into the divine life which God has enabled in me.”

Lord, Teach Us to Pray

By Br. James Koester

“The Lord’s Prayer unites us, makes us and shapes us into a communion, a community, a commonwealth, where none are left out, left behind, or left alone. In an age of self-interest, taking responsibility for the well-being of another, especially if they are not like us, is a radical act.”

7 Comments

  1. Eva Webster on March 7, 2023 at 09:26

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this prayer that is so central to our faith.

    I have been puzzling over it and exploring various versions, paraphrases and adaptations since encountering a version of Jim Cotter’s prayer. I continue to be troubled by Cotter’s line “In the hurts we absorb from one another, forgive us.” For me, this doesn’t adequately replace “Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us”. I have asked clergy who like the Jim Cotter version about this line but their explanations have been rather weak.

    It was a revelation to me to discover that paraphrases and adaptations of the Lord’s Prayer are not a new phenomenon. Martin Luther’s expanded version (in translation by George MacDonald because I can’t read it in the original) is a source of continued inspiration. I highly recommend it to anyone interested in exploring older variations. I would be happy to hear of other versions that have inspired the Brothers, Friends, or ‘adherents’.

    Thanks again.

  2. Leslie Bethell on March 4, 2023 at 09:26

    I don’t say ‘in heaven’ anymore in order not to reinforce the idea that God is somewhere, because God is everywhere; most especially in the relationships that we have with each other and with the world around us.

  3. Susan H Kern on February 27, 2023 at 23:16

    I was very please and delighted to receive my paper copy of the Cowley and did not find the slight shift in language a distraction. Inlove the graphic presentation and the room for response. More later!

  4. Linda Bissell on February 12, 2023 at 08:13

    I do not like the newer version of The Lords Prayer. It’s an attempt to minimize the importance of each line. As the saying goes, “If ain’t broke, don’t fix it!”
    When did the old version brake?
    To me each line is a life challenge along one’s path. Reciting The Lord’s Prayer brings one to that stumbling block for the purpose of living through the challenges and finding God’s meaning. That can be many things to many people. Yet it is how we are drawn back to this prayer again and again through our lives.

    • Anne Burke on February 23, 2023 at 12:55

      Many things to many people…
      I am drawn to the newer version because it is fresh. The updated phrases catch my attention and lead me to new grace and deeper wisdom than I have had previously. Just a different lens to look through.

  5. Lyn Brakeman on February 10, 2023 at 17:15

    The Lord’s Prayer is extensive and quite inclusive of all the ways we pray. My husband and I are retired, and thanks to the COVID scare and my lung condition, we have not sought a church community in our new/old location. We have returned to Connecticut after living some 20 years in Massachusetts. We are both Episcopal priests, and we celebrate Eucharist every Sunday, together, alternating the role of presider. What is invigorating about this is that we can say anything we want about the scriptures and we can spat and argue as we “preach”. We also use the latest inclusive biblical translations and liturgical texts. It is very nourishing to be able to debate and then have the reconciling sacrament be the “amen” to our disagreements if any. We miss being in a parish community but e do not miss pariah politics, and we don’t miss a community worship enough to relinquish the joy of our liturgical freedom—yet.

    The Lord’s Prayer is also a unifier because we know that Christians all over the world know and say this one prayer with us. We take the liberty of never saying Our Father. . . We could never get away with this in a parish I bet. But it has become easy and liberating to us both to say, “Our God in heaven . . .”

    • Elizabeth. ,, Betsy,, Bishop on February 22, 2023 at 16:24

      Thanks for the thought,,our God who art in heaven,,

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