Meditation on the Our Father

When we pray the Our Father do we have any idea of what we’re saying? Do we realise it is the most radical statement of our collective sonship of Him who is both the eternal God and doting parent?

It’s not a prayer for wimps…


Our FatherĀ 

Not my Father.

Not your Father.

But our Father.

Thus giving the lie

To racism, patriotism,

Nationalism, sectarianism,

Extremism, fundamentalism,

And just about every other exclusive-ism.

To say ‘Our Father’ from the heart,

Is to reject fear of the stranger.

It is to love beyond mere kin:

Inclusive, catholic, all embracing.

If I withhold love from any man,

Any man,

I betray my sonship,

And, in denying my brother,

I wound myself.

I cannot truly say ‘our Father’

And continue to hate.

I cannot truly say ‘our Father’

And choose who to forgive.

To pray ‘our Father’

Is to embrace everyone.

Everyone, living and dead.


All humanity, one family,

Under one Father.

Our Father.

Who art in Heaven

Who are way, way beyond us.

Such a gulf exists

Between Your glory

And our fallibility,

And yet You love us tenderly,

Intimately, prodigiously.

From Your distant perfection,

You reach out to us.

You sent Your Son,

So that one day

We can be with You,

In that place of which

Eye has not seen,

Nor ear heard,

Nor human mind conceived,

The joy which has no end.

Until then we see vaguely,

Darkly, imperfectly,

Stumbling in this Eden

Which we make our Earth.

You are in Heaven,

And there You stay.

We will not stay here long,

But will come to You

One blessed day soon.

Hallowed be Your Name

Our entire destiny,

Our raison d’etre,

Is to sing Your praise.

That is why You called us out of nothingness.

We belong to You.

In our You-given freedom

We are headstrong,

And You understand this,

And have redeemed us.

All creation will bend the knee,

And with opened eyes,

Right gladly so.

Wholesome humanity hallows You.

Wayward humanity knows You not.

If we do not praise You,

Base creation will sing out:

The rocks split for joy;

The birds thrill Your praise;

The plants rise to greet You.

In hallowing Your name

We find ourselves.

In hallowing Your name

We come to know our true identity,

Our priceless worth,

Our destiny.

Praise You!

Your Kingdom come


Steady on there!

Your kingdom come, today?

Here now?

In my life?

Surely this is just a nice thought

For some future, unknown day,

When You will bring all things together?

Do we really want our world changing?

Do I want my world changing?

This prayer touches us deeply,

Or at least it should do,

If we really meant what we say…

Your kingdom come!

It fairly trips off the tongue;

So easy to say.

To say this prayer properly

Requires huge honesty and self awareness.

Maybe we should turn it into a question:

Whose kingdom come?

If Your kingdom is to come in my heart today,

Then my kingdom must fall,

My authority cede to Your authority,

My priorities become Your priorities,

My values align to Your values.

Just whose kingdom am I busy building?

Whose plan is controlling my life?

Life changing stuff.

Your will be done on earth as it is in Heaven

The hardest prayer of all to say?

Dare we ever mean it?

Do we mean it personally?

Or is it comfortably vague?

What would it do to us?

Where would our life go?

Do we know what we pray?

Radical indeed.

That our world should be as Heaven?

That Your will should be done in its entirety?

No half measures…

Nor can we allow ourselves to settle down,

To be busy feathering our own nests.

No good saying ‘Lord! Lord!’

Is Jesus the Lord of my life?

Do I stop before I decide,

Not in feeble prevarication,

But in humble submission to Him?

Even in the smaller decisions in life,

Do I ask for guidance,

And make the effort to avoid over-confidence?

Do I walk this earth in a sacred manner?

Who’s the boss in my life?

Perhaps we should hesitate before we say this prayer,

Lest our lived life betrays us?

Come Holy Spirit,

And show us the bravery in true submission

To His holy will.

Give us this day our daily bread

A pointless prayer?

Asking You to do what You already do?

After all, everything is gift from You:

The very breath we take,

Every beat of our heart,

Each moment of our life.

We suppose we’re self-sufficient:

Arrant nonsense on our part.

You maintain our existence.

And You are not stingy.

Is this perhaps a prayer for wisdom?

Show us our daily bread,

Open our eyes to what really matters,

Show us just how very blessed we are!

Do we know our own need?

Do not give us our daily greed!

Does discontent stem from unreal expectation?

Look at the birds!

They do not strive and stress themselves,

Yet our Father looks after them.

Lord, it is right to work hard,

To provide for our families;

But our peace cannot come from wealth,

No more than our health can come from plenty.

A pointless prayer?

A beautiful prayer:

For peace and contentment,

Based on trust of our Father.

And forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us

Dare we say such a thing?

To be dealt with according to our own measure?

A dangerous prayer indeed…

What do we measure out to others?

Is this a prayer for justice and fairness,

Or a prayer for mercy?

A prayer that we might be merciful.

You Lord will never deal with us according to our measure.

You couldn’t if You tried,

For You are all mercy and compassion.

It’s all about mercy:

Mercy, mercy, mercy.

Without mercy we haven’t a prayer.

We cannot withhold mercy to our brother:

Because we ourselves are guilty of sin,

And haven’t a leg to stand on.

If I demand my pound of flesh,

I am standing on dangerous ground.

If I show mercy

I am standing on holy ground.

Permit me Lord to rephrase this prayer:

Help me to forgive everyone

And everything,

So I might be forgiven too.

I claim the mercy measure!

And lead us not into temptation

Because we’re quite good at it ourselves.

So often a temptation scenario

Is the result of a series of decisions.

Perhaps small decisions,

But in combination,

We can arrive at a difficult fix.

Lord, open our eyes to the path we take,

Make us wise to the route,

So we do not slip over the slope.

But do we want to be wise?

Would we rather slide into temptation,

And then throw up our hands in despair?

Who do we listen to?

Whose voice is leading us on?

Do ‘little sins’ matter?

Do ‘private sins’ matter?

In combination they affect us,

Making us more or less good or bad,

Thus forming a character?

LEAD us Lord,

Lest we perish

In a morass of failed choices,

When the ‘morning after’

Will become the mourning after.

Help us to control ourselves enough

To allow You to control us.

But deliver us from evil

Not: keep evil away from us,

But when it befalls us,

Let it not corrupt our heart,

And cause us to sin,

And to become evil in our turn,

To become that which oppresses us.

Lord, we’re asking You

To break the vicious circle of evil.

All across the world

People are hitting back in anger,

For perceived wrongs and slurs.

On this small planet of ours

Humanity battles in a maniacal fight

For what?

Nothing that will ultimately last.

Deliver us Lord from hate,

And the knee jerk response,

Which leads to deeper despair.

Deliver me from evil:

Grace me to be able to say no to

Revenge, to righteous indignation,

To the tit for tat, eye for an eye mentality.

Help me to be the wounded healer,

And not the wound dealer.

This is a life decision,

To be applied right in the middle of hurt.

If I so will it,

No man can make me hate him.


Let it be so!

Let me say this prayer sincerely,

Or not at all.

Let me say this prayer strongly,

Or not at all.

Let me say this prayer from the heart,

Or not at all.

Have I understood what I’ve just prayed?

Have I meant what I’ve just prayed?

Let it be so.

Let it be so in my life.

Let it be so today.

Here, now…