As I near the end of my series on the Lord’s Prayer I want to turn now to a small liturgy I’ve written that is based off the Lord’s Prayer and the conclusions I’ve arrived at through this series. This liturgy was made to help conceptualize in a communal setting ways in which, we the church can embody the practices and politics of Jesus.” We have said this in our small group as part of our prayer together, it is meant to fit your context, so if you do decide to download it and use it feel free to adjust any of the parts that don’t fit your context.
The main point of this is to bring into our worship settings prayers that are formed around and out of Jesus’ own prayer. Don’t let this liturgy overshadow the Lord’s Prayer, that is of primary importance, this liturgy is to only act as an aid in the community and help point it toward mission. Not only does the Lord’s prayer form the community of God in terms of shaping our dispositions” but it shapes our mission – our concerns, our values. When we prayer come close to the heart of God.
The way I’ve done this in the past is to have one person read the line from the Lord’s Prayer itself and then have the community repeat the longer liturgical prayer together. If you don’t want to read this here you can download it in .pdf below.
All: The Lord’s Prayer
Our Father in the heavens, may your name be sanctified.
Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
Forgive us our debts as we also have forgiven our debtors.
Do not bring us into temptation, but rescue us from the evil one.
All: We as the church recognize that God calls us to care about every aspect of life and find sacramental significance within the ordinary. We also seek to be a people formed by the Lords Prayer by praying it regularly, and praying about each of its concerns, making those concerns our concerns for they are the things that our Lord Jesus Christ modeled for us to care and pray for.
Leader:Our Father In The Heavens
All: We are a community gathered around God our father of the Old and New Testament, who is present in our lives and is present within the world. We see that God calls all to himself and so we accept our call to welcome all into our praying and worship community of Christ, regardless of who they are, what they have done or how much they are unlike us.
Leader: May Your Name Be Sanctified
All: We are first and foremost a worshipping community of the living God and see our worship as a way of life, concerned with all aspect of human existence. We realize that by confessing that Gods name be sanctified, we must live our lives in the world in such a way that Gods name is sanctified. We confess with our mouths, hearts, and lives that God is a holy God and thus we are to be a holy people (Lev. 11:44).
Leader: Your Kingdom Come, Your Will be Done, On Earth As It Is In Heaven
All: As we pray for Gods kingdom to come, we recognize that it is already at hand (and this observation necessitates for us a response). We understand that we, as Gods people on earth, are empowered by his Spirit now and play a part in bringing about his kingdom. We also recognize that we will not on our own power brining it fully into existence. We are committed to living out the ethics taught by Chris, in the Sermon on the Mount, as we understand them in our own culture and context, even if we never see the kingdom realized by our own actions. Part of doing this only comes by dying to ourselves daily and following Jesus prayer in the Garden.
Leader: Give Us This Day Our Daily Bread
All: We confess that we need God to provide all things for us because he is the author, giver, and sustainer of life. He has blessed us with an earthly existence and therefore we also rejoice in that and treasure all of human life. Because we recognize that he cares for the earthly/physical existence of all his creation, we too care for all humans in this way. Therefore we seek to only have what we need to live, we desire to not live in the excess, further we desire to not take from others to give to ourselves but rather we look to give daily bread” to all those who we are blessed to come in contact with. We seek to be a giving community, in all that we have, as our father is gracious and giving to us.
Leader: Forgive Us Our Debts As We Also Have Forgiven Our Debtors
All: We confess that we are individually and corporately sinners that need the forgiveness of Jesus Christ who died for our sins. We recognize that we are indebted to the Lord and yet he grants us freedom from our sins. We therefore, as a community, seek to forgive those who have harmed us, our families, friends and even our countries just as we have been forgiven. In the same way that we once were estranged from God but now have been brought into a right relationship with him, we seek to restore those who are estranged from our community of healing. We also recognize that by not forgiving we try to conform others to our own powers and bind them to a life apart from wholeness. Finally we seek to be a community of liberation, seeking to restore jubilee to those who are crushed under their own debts.
Leader: Do Not Bring Us Into Temptation, But Rescue Us From The Evil One
All: Though we are saved and redeemed through the gracious act of Christs life, death and resurrection, we still fail as his followers and need continued aid from Gods Holy Spirit in the areas of temptation, which come through spiritual and physical means. We also recognize that we are primarily in a spiritual battle (Ephesians 6:10-24) with the evil one and seek to live lives that reflect this kind of battle and not one waged in physical ways. We confess our self-centered desires and know that we must continually place our desires behind the desires of Christs Kingdom. Finally, as the community that fights temptation and the evil one, we place ourselves in the way of evil so as to absorb its impact on those who are being afflicted by the evil one and his temptations. We seek to free those who are enslaved to their own temptations and the temptations of the world.