Pray, then, in this way:
Our Father who is in heaven,
Hallowed be Your name.
Your kingdom come
Your will be done,
On earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
[For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.]
(Jesus, Matthew 6.9-13)
Let me start this post off by saying that I love the Lord’s Prayer. my favorite part, by far, is “your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” How amazing. I could talk about that here, but that’s not what this post is about. This post is about the words
OUR and US.
Have you ever noticed how many times these words are used in this prayer?
OUR = 4
US = 4
I didn’t realize this until I read Shane Claiborne’s book The Irresistible Revolution. It is mind boggling to me that I have never heard it before. He writes about how if there was a food shortage in early Christian communities the whole community would fast until there was enough for all. And then he moves on to the “ours” in the Lord’s Prayer and says,
To pray for “my” daily bread is a desecration; we are to pray for “our” daily bread, for all of us.*
This is envigorating! And yet it makes me hang my head in shame. It makes me hopeful! And yet I am saddened by how far we are from this.
OUR. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil. (Matthew 6.11-13)
UNITY. “I ask not only on behalf of these, but also on behalf of those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one. As you, Father, are in me and I am in you, may they also be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. The glory that you have given me I have given them, so that they may be one, as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may become completely one, so that the world may know that you have sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me. “ (Jesus, John 17.20-23)
LOVE. I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another. (John 13:34-35)
Lord, have mercy on me a sinner.
* Shane Claiborne, The Irresistible Revolution (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2006), 170.