By The Reverend Dr. Katie Snipes Lancaster

In our Wednesday morning online bible study (last one next Wednesday, pop in if you’d like!), we’ve taken a deep dive into the Lord’s Prayer. Unpacking the text has brought us into conversations about our own assumptions that we bring to that prayer, and week by week we’ve all had little “ah ha” moments when we’ve seen greater clarity or had the prayer shifted for us in life giving ways. It is such an intimate prayer, one that we each carry around with us every day. Jo Forrest asked everyone to write out the Lord’s Prayer in their own words. There were beautiful renditions, and I share this one with you this morning. 

I love the way Diane has used the word “molded,” as if our lives are wet clay, and we can ask God to form us in a way that is in tune to God’s hope for life and peace and goodness and mercy. I love how the phrase “give us this day our daily bread” has been unpacked as “meet our needs” and expanded beyond bread as “material, physical and emotional needs of today.” I love “during and after our trials,” acknowledging that those trials come, and (especially in these days shaped by COVID-19) each trial does come to an end, eventually, too. And, finally, I love that final sense of praise, that “always and forever, in awe.” 

Let us pray:

Almighty God, our Heavenly Father,
Blessed be Your name, blessed be Your kingdom of love,
and blessed be Your presence among us through the Spirit.
May our will be molded to Yours both here today, and for all time in the life to come.
Today, we ask You to meet our needs—
You know what they are before we can even think them.
We ask You to do the same for others’ material, physical and emotional needs of today.
Please forgive us when we fall and act in ways we shouldn’t,
and when we do not treat and love others as we ought.
Likewise, help us to forgive others who do not treat us as You would desire them to do.
According to Your sovereign purposes,
may our times of trial and testing be ones we can bear,
and ones we learn grace from.
Only You can save us, and we pray that You make us,
during and after our trials, more ready to be in Your presence,
where we can worship You more fully, always and forever,
in awe of Your power and Your glory.
Amen
—Diane Iorio

Click through to hear Bill Evertsberg’s Wednesday Garden Side Chat. During physical distancing, Bill Evertsberg, virtually checks in weekly, a new tradition of Pastoral Care.