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  • Writer's pictureAllison Wilcox


He was praying in a certain place, and after he had finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, as John taught his disciples.” So he said to them, “When you pray, say:

Father, may your name be revered as holy.

May your kingdom come.

Give us each day our daily bread.

And forgive us our sins,

for we ourselves forgive everyone indebted to us.

And do not bring us to the time of trial.” ~ Luke 11:1-4

Most of us grew up knowing the Lord's Prayer. We either knew it from Sundays in church, or from saying at night before we went to bed.

Most of us say the traditional King James English version, with its "thys" and "thines" and "arts."

I used to have a problem with that. In fact, I still tend not to say this version in my head. I prefer the contemporary English version because that's the language in which I speak. So it feels more natural to me to use that. Otherwise it can feel rote to me.

I also don't say any of my other prayers to God in the King's English.

And certainly Jesus didn't speak in the King's English.

But as wise pastor once reminded me that the reason most churches still use the traditional version is that it is what people are comfortable with.

And it is, after all, a prayer for "us."

The disciples asked Jesus to give them a prayer to say together. That's what this prayer is. It is a community prayer.

So if the community loves saying its thines and thys, then who am I to take that from them? It isn't just a prayer for me. It's a prayer for us.

But, if you do feel inclined to say it in a way other than in the traditional way - or even write it in your own words - don't worry. God's going to hear it just as well.

Your kingdom come. Your will be done, O Lord! Amen.

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