Blogger Peacebang recently reflected on the Lord’s Prayer, and I found the words coming into my own mind recently on a Sunday during the time of silence after the sermon, so I did some Googling on Unitarian Universalist approaches to this traditional prayer.
The Rev. Roger Fritts, senior minister at Cedar Lane Unitarian Universalist Church in Bethesda, Maryland, preached this sermon on December 15, 2002, regarding his own personal interpretation of the Lord’s Prayer. I think his approach is extremely thoughtful, on both an intellectual and spiritual level.
deepening, God, prayer, religion, Roger Fritts, theology
An Interpretation of the Lord’s Prayer
by Rev. Roger Fritts
Our Father who art in Heaven,
Hallowed be thy name;
Thy kingdom come;
Thy will be done
On earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread;
And forgive us our trespasses (or debts)
As we forgive those who trespass against us;
(or: As we have forgiven our debtors)
And lead us not into temptation,
But deliver us from evil.
(For thine is the kingdom
And the power
And the glory,
-Roman Catholic version with
Protestant changes or additions in italics
According to a 1992 study published in Newsweek, about eighty-eight percent of the people in the United States pray. According to a study of Unitarian Universalists conducted in 1987, fifty-seven percent of us say that we pray occasionally or often. I fall into this group of fifty-seven percent.
During difficult moments of my life I pray. I know that my silent, private prayer will not change the unchangeable. Nevertheless, in moments of doubt and fear my short, silent prayers give me comfort. They help me cope by calming me and soothing my emotions.
Some might say that my prayer is a form or regression. They might suggest that when I pray I am discarding my rational, logical side; I am setting aside what I have learned from science, and returning to my early childhood superstitious beliefs in God as a Santa Claus who will grant my prayer, if I say the right words in the right way.