Do you have a favorite prayer? The one that spills out whenever you have no words. For me that is the Our Father. When I am at a loss for clear thoughts, I fall into the rhythm of the Our Father and feel the familiar peace only God provides. It is now time to go deeper. What do these words, that so easily flow from my mouth, mean on a deeper level? I found my answer by expanding each line.
Our Father, Mother, Brother, Sister, Friend, Neighbor. The Holy Spirit all around us. The presence of Christ in every element.
Who Art in Heaven
Father your omnipresent spirit surrounds me. Heaven is here. The Lord in Heaven is everywhere. You are never farther than the quiet, stillness. When I settle my mind, I feel your presence. When everything is in chaos Your presence remains. Heaven is not a place. Heaven is right here, right now.
Hallowed Be Thy Name
Your name holds power. The Lord’s name is a symbol of grace and peace. It is a name that represents blessings. When I use your name, I speak of blessings beyond measure. When I hear Your name, I am reminded of love everlasting, given without thought of reciprocation.
Thy Kingdom Come
God’s kingdom is present here in our messy world. In the city, the country, the rainforest, the swamp, and the desert Your kingdom resides. Every corner of the ocean and at the peak of every mountain, we are present in Your kingdom. With every person walking the earth, we see a part of Your kingdom. In smiles, tears, gentle words, and wailing, we see Your kingdom.
Thy Will Be Done
What is thy will? Let me love each person as You love them. I will receive love given to me as I would receive it from You. I will lend a helpful hand to my fellow man. It is my work to forgo judgment and extend grace. My mission to bring people together not tear them apart.
On Earth as It Is in Heaven
Bring the amazing promise of heaven into the everyday. I will not wait for the end times. Instead I will live in the fullness of Your love every day. Each day I will remember that You are right here, right now. Heaven is here. The presence of God and each person who left the earthly world to return to their Father are here in unity with your presence. Heaven is NOT a place. Where the presence of God resides, we are surrounded by the presence of heaven.
Give Us this Day our Daily Bread
Lord give me strength when I am weak. Hold me close when the world is crumbling, and I have no words to say. Help me to find stillness when chaos abounds around every corner. Hear my tears and help me to feel loved. Smile in the fullness of my joy. Feed my soul with your presence during every moment.
And Forgive Us our Trespasses
I make mistakes. Judgement flows from my mouth. My actions reflect impatience. Anger drives my decisions. Forgive me. Forgive me for forgetting to love first. Lead me to a new path.
As We Forgive Those Who Trespass Against Us
Help me to forgive first, to extend grace to those who also make mistakes. No one person who walks this earth is perfect. We all need grace. We all need forgiveness. Let me be an example of how to love, forgive, and lead others to do the same. Let my words communicate understanding. Allow my ears to listen for understanding, rather than hear to rebut.
And Lead Us Not into Temptation
Help me to surround myself with people, places, and things that encourage my spirit. Let me look for ways to fill my soul rather than seeking for ways to impress others. When faced with difficult choices, let me seek wise counsel. May I always ask for help rather than fall into the abyss of loneliness, doing it all on my own. You created us in love and love us with a fierceness that can not be measured. When faced with difficulty, sorrow, tragedy, I will lean into Your love rather than clinging to my own will.
But Deliver Us from Evil
Comfort me when the world is collapsing around me. Be the strength I need when I cannot take another step. Feed my soul when the emptiness starts to overtake me. Hold me in silence when I can not find words to express my turmoil. Surround me with people who love me well. Help me to let go of the people who bring anger, frustration, and pain into my life. I am stronger than I know because You are holding me up. Let me always remember You are present with every small step I take. Ready to carry me. Never going to abandon me.
Each line of the Our Father is a reminder of God’s constant presence in our life. He never leaves. Even at the moments when we feel abandoned or the moments when we push Him away, He remains steadfast, waiting for us to be ready to hear Him. Do not be afraid. You are never left alone. If you can not find the words on your own, say the Our Father and know that God is sitting beside you.