The more I seek to plumb things, the more convinced I am of the following: There is no Prayer more effective than The Lord’s Prayer. And there is no prayer more ignored or abused.

How can I say this without seeming terribly out of order and not worth listening to? Give me some sentences and I’ll explain.

The prayer which I will offer below was first offered by Jesus in response to his disciples. They asked him how they should pray. He responded immediately with words that hallowed the name of Abba, his father. To hallow is to set apart and honor as sacred.

Jesus went on to say we should pray that Abba’s will be done on earth as it is where Abba is – heaven. Because Abba is also said to be within us I am assuming heaven is there also, if undiscovered.

The center

Next, Jesus states what seems to me to be the central message of the prayer. He says to pray we be forgiven of our wrongs as we do the same for others. We are made agents of forgiveness. This is what Jesus may have been executed for, assuming humans beings can forgive.

There is no resolution to any conflict, ever, without forgiveness. It may be implicit or explicit. But unless it is real, wounds and resentments will fester and come back to bite and wound in turn. Jesus did not come to leave things as they were, nor as they have been since his words were misconstrued or ignored.

If and when the world survives and grows into something like adulthood, Jesus will no longer be made the property of a religion and an exclusive doctrine He will be honored as a guide because of his emphasis on a forgiveness policy that actually works.

Conclusion

Jesus concludes by suggesting we pray to avoid both temptation and the hurt and harm it can lead to – evil.

I have created a 12-line version of the prayer which can be said or sung silently or aloud.

This is a personal prayer, an act of daily self-renewal. We are to be concerned for others of course. But the dominant view of prayer these days is – I will pray for you. That is pointless. It may make us feel good, but it does not heal the object of the prayer.

The thing that heals us is our capacity to pray for ourselves. There is nothing stronger than our will allied to purposes that are decent and good.

That includes healing ourselves of what ails us. There is no failsafe way to ensure our security, our longevity, or even our next moment. But prayer for oneself is a gateway to consciousness and growth and spiritual maturity.

Here is my version. Create your own.

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