willard’s prayer

Those of you who have been reading my blog for any length of time know that I enjoy modern-day retellings of scripture a great deal.  Some of those I’ve liked writing the most are here:

But today I want to share with you a paraphrase which is not my own.  This is Dallas Willard’s restatement of the Lord’s Prayer:

Dear Father always near us,
may your name be treasured and loved,
may your rule be completed in us —
may your will be done here on earth in
just the way it is done in heaven.
Give us today the things we need today,
and forgive us our sins and impositions on you
as we are forgiving all who in any way offend us.
Please don’t put us through trials,
but deliver us from everything bad.
Because you are the one in charge,
and you have all the power, and the glory, too, is all yours forever —
which is just the way we want it!



Filed under modern-day retelling

3 responses to “willard’s prayer

  1. Wow. So simple yet so powerful. That’s exactly why I like paraphrases. Sometimes I need to hear the same thing said in a different way. Thanks, Brett!

  2. i am all for paraphrases. but i have to say, some of this i would humbly push back against.

    one part in particular:

    “Please don’t put us through trials,
    but deliver us from everything bad,”

    this is just plain silly ;]

    the obvious intention (through the language used) is a hearkening back to exodus, specifically that of chapter 17, verse 7.

    taken from an earlier blog post of mine, i write:

    cutting right to the chase, the israelites of exodus 17 are wandering in transition. they have the manna (which really means, “what-is-it?”). they have the leadership of moses. they have grumbling and desert and wandering before them. and they are led to a place near rephidim: they are thirsty: and there is no water to drink. essentially, the question, no, the temptation, arises within them, “WHAT KIND OF MANIPULATIVE GOD LEADS US TO THE DESERT WITH NO WATER – A MURDEROUS AND ABSENT GOD HE MUST BE. IS HE AMONG US, IS HE FOR US, OR NOT?” (my speculation). but indeed. YHWH tells moses to strike a rock and water will spring forth – from the rock – and water is provided unto the children of the desert.

    it is here that the place they were led is given two names: massah & meribah = temptation and reviling.

    fast-forward. yeshua now teaches his disciples to pray, “lead us not into massah temptation: but deliver us from evil.” the language stretches back to the pentateuch: to the exodus.

    what are we basically saying when we pray those words? we are agreeing that we do not want to relive the desert experience of distrusting GOD. we are asking GOD to keep us trusting him. we don’t want to be led into the temptation that GOD does not have a plan for us in the midst of what looks like a place with no plan!

    we are asking to be delivered from unbelief and utterly given over to belief. yes. in the place of transition. in the chaos. in the confusion.

    the rest of the blog post can be found here: http://www.abeautifulmess.info/2010/01/only-believe/

    i do, however, appreciate willard’s keeping of the community as a focal point – so many people are quick to turn this into an individual’s prayer…

    also, i think it beneficial to note that for all intents and purposes, this really is not our Lord’s prayer, that would be more like john 17…on the other hand, it could be understood that “the Lord’s prayer/hope is, in fact, that we would become his prayer.” that we would become his will being done.

    i appreciate willard; i also think the weight of this prayer, or charter, is just so darn epic – and his paraphrase sort of takes away from it a little.

    but then again, the words came from the heart and lips of the Word – so, it’s pretty tough to say it any better, haha!

    • i also didn’t like the “please don’t put us through trials and deliver us from anything bad” line. i do believe we should be praying for deliverance from all things bad — and that eventually we will be delivered as such. but the way it’s worded makes it sound as if we just desire easy lives. it may very well be the trials we go through that enable us to be delivered from evil. maybe i’m making more of the difference between ‘temptation’ and ‘trial’ than i should…?

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