Variations on the Lord’s Prayer

In my final sermon at FCCO, I talked about the Lord’s Prayer. Part of the sermon involved everyone getting a different interpretation of that prayer and discussing how it made them look at the original version in new ways. (Part of the point is that there are lots of layers to scripture, but unless we’re looking to see it in new ways, we might miss the new message in an old text.) Here are the versions of which each congregant was randomly handed one:

Latin American paraphrase of the Lord’s Prayer

Our Father and Mother

who is in us here on earth,

holy is your name

in the hungry

who share their bread and their song.

Your Kingdom come,

which is a generous land

flowing with milk and honey.

Let us do your will,

standing up when all are sitting down,

and raising our voice

when all are silent.

You are giving us our daily bread

in the song of the bird and the miracle of the corn.

Forgive us

for keeping silent in the face of injustice,

and for burying our dreams;

for not sharing bread and wine,

love and the land,

among us, now.

Don’t let us fall into the temptation

of shutting the door through fear,

of resigning ourselves to hunger and injustice,

of taking up the same arms as the enemy.

But deliver us from evil.

Give us the perseverance and the solidarity

to look for love,

even if the path has not yet been trodden,

even if we fail;

so we shall have known your Kingdom

which is being built forever and ever.






Lord’s Prayer from the New Zealand prayer book:

Eternal Spirit, Earthmaker, Pain bearer, Life giver, Source of all that shall be.  Father and Mother of us all.  Loving God, in whom is heaven; May the hallowing of your name echo through the Universe!  May the way of your justice be followed by the peoples of the world!  May your heavenly will be done by all created beings!  May your commonwealth of peace and freedom sustain our hope and may it come on earth.

With the bread that we need for today, feed us. In the hurts that we absorb from one another, forgive us. In times of temptation and test, strengthen us. From trials too great to endure, spare us. From the grip that is evil, free us. For you reign in the glory of the power that is love.  Now and forever, now and forevermore.  Amen. (New Zealand prayer book)








The Lord’s Prayer

The Message



Our Father in heaven,
Reveal who you are.
Set the world right;
Do what’s best— as above, so below.
Keep us alive with three square meals.
Keep us forgiven with you and forgiving others.
Keep us safe from ourselves and the Devil.
You’re in charge!
You can do anything you want!
You’re ablaze in beauty!
Yes. Yes. Yes.


The Message  (MSG) Matthew 6:9-13




Prayer in Time of War

Our Father and Mother, who art in heaven, slow to anger, and of great mercy, lover of all the peoples of earth.
Hallowed be thy Name.
Remind us that “all the nations are as nothing before thee,” their governments but a shadow of passing age;

Thy Kingdom come on earth.
Grant to thy children throughout all the world, and especially to the leaders of the nations, the gift of prayerful thought and thoughtful prayer; that following the example of our God, we may discern what is right, and do it;

Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.
Help us to protect and to provide for all who are hungry and homeless, especially those who are deprived of food and shelter, family and friends, by the tragedy of war;

Give us this day our daily bread.
Forgive us for neglecting to “seek peace and pursue it,” and finding ourselves in each new crisis, more ready to make war than to make peace.  “We have not loved thee with our whole heart; we have not loved our neighbors as ourselves”;

Forgive us our debtors, as we forgive our debtors.
Let us not seek revenge, but reconciliation; Let us not delight in victory, but in justice; Let us not give ourselves up to pride, but to prayer;

Lead us not into temptation.
Be present to all your children ravaged by war;  Be present to those who are killing and to those who are being killed; Be present to the loved ones of those who are killing and to the loved ones of those who are being killed;

Deliver us from evil.
Subdue our selfish desires to possess and to dominate, and forbid us arrogance in victory;

For thine is the kingdom, and the power and the glory, forever and ever, Amen.

This prayer is from Women’s Uncommon Prayers, Morehouse Publishing, 2000.



Aramaic Lord’s Prayer:
(Transliteration from the Syriac-Aramaic version by Neil Douglas-Klotz,
personalized by Virginia Melroy.)

Abwoon d’bwashmaya:
O Thou, The Breathing Life of all,
In the roar and whisper, in the breeze and the whirlwind, we hear your name.

Nethgadash shmakh:
Help us let go, clear the space inside,
Creating a holy place within for your light to shine.

Teytey malkuthakh:
Unite our “I can” to yours,
So that we walk as kings and queens with every creature.

Nehwey tzevyanach aykanna d’bwashmaya aph b’arha.
Your heart’s fervent desire then acts with ours.
As in all sound and light, so in all creatures on the earth.

Havlan lachma d’sunganan yaomana.
Give us the food we need to grow through each new day.
Produce in us the wisdom and understanding we need at each new stage of our lives.

Washboglan khaubayn (wakhtahayn) ayakana daph khnan shbwogan l’khayyabayn.
Help us to let go of our past, the hidden guilt of our failures,
Just as we consistently release others of the knots of their guilt.

Wela tahlan l’nesyuna
Ela patzen min bisha.
Let us not become lost in busyness, in the surface appearance of things.
But free us from what holds us back.

Metol dilakhie malkutha wateshbukhta I’ahlam almin.  Ameyn.
May abundance, fertile power, and glorious harmony return again and again, in each new age.  May this be the ground from which all our actions grow.  Amen.
A Traditional prayer in a different voice

Our Father/Mother who art in heaven,
Our Creator, you are all around us and within us.
hallowed be thy name.
We praise you with many different names.
Thy kingdom come, thy will be done
Help us live as we understand we should from knowing you
in harmony and connectedness with each other,
on earth as it is in heaven.
With all creatures of the earth,
and with the earth and the universe itself.
Give us this day our daily bread,
Help us to use your resources wisely
So that we might be sustained.
and forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us.
Help us take responsibility when we fail to live harmoniously,
And help us understand and forgive when others let us down.
And lead us not into temptation,
Let us know you well enough that we are not tempted
to live outside of your love.
but deliver us from evil,
and empower us to work together to overcome evil.
for thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever.
We believe that you created the world
and that you will be all around us and within us forever.
We are open to you.                     Lyn Seils Robertson





our Father and Mother,

in whom is heaven,

hallowed be your name,

followed be your royal way,

done be your will and rule,

throughout the whole creation.

With the bread we need for today,

feed us.

In the hurts we absorb from one another,

forgive us.

In times of temptation and test,

Strengthen us.

From trials too great to endure,

spare us.

From the grip of all that is evil,

free us.

For you reign in the glory of the power that is love,

Now and forever.








O Breathing Life, your Name shines everywhere!

Release a space to plant your Presence here.

Imagine your possibilities now.

Embody your desire in every light and form.

Grow through us this moment’s bread and wisdom.

Untie the knots of failure binding us,

as we release the strands we hold of others’ faults.

Help us not forget our Source,

Yet free us from not being in the Present.

From you arises every Vision, Power and Song

from gathering to gathering.

Amen –

May our future actions grow from here!




Heavenly Father, heavenly Mother,

Holy and blessed is your true name.

We pray for your reign of peace to come,

We pray that your good will be done,

Let heaven and earth become one.

Give us this day the bread we need,

Give it to those who have none.

Let forgiveness flow like a river between us,

From each one to each one.

Lead us to holy innocence

Beyond the evil of our days —

Come swiftly Mother, Father, come.

For yours is the power and the glory and the mercy:

Forever your name is All in One.




Our Mother Who Art in the kitchen cooking us up hallowed may we see all that is Your kingdom here delivered into our hands Your will in children and trees leafing out on earth as if it were Heaven.

Give us this day bread we could feed the world and snatch us bald-headed if we try to swallow it all.

Don’t forgive us till we learn it is all for giving. That salve you’ve got in a pot on the back of the stove only heals when everybody has some.

And heed us not if we believe You look like us and love us best and gave us the True Truth with a license to kill Others writ inside. Deliver us from this evil.

For it is Yours, this kitchen we call Universe where you stir up our favorite treat, the Milky Way, folding deep into sweet our little sphere with its powerful glory of rainforests and oceans and mountains in feather-boa mist forever if we don’t blow it up and ever if we don’t tear it down Amen

(Ah women Ah children Ah reckon She’s about fed up. We better make room at the table for everybody before She yells “OUT!” and turns our table over, before She calls it off, this banquet we’ve been hoarding this paradise we aim to save with bombs.)



based on the Lord’s Prayer published in Minnesota Women’s Press, December 1999

Our mother, which art the earth,

Nurturing are thy ways.

Thy web of life be woven

Thy way be found within,

As it is all around.

Thank you this day for our daily bread and sweat

and forgive us our misuse of you,

as we forgive others their misuse of us.

And lead us not into exploitation,

But deliver us

From lording it over you,

And over each other,

And over all our other fellow creatures.

For thine are the waters of life,

The hills, valleys and plains of home,

The breeding, seeding, feeding ground,

For now, and for as close to forever

As we will ever come.

Ah, woman!




circulated from the Boston College advent prayer list, 12/21/07

Our Father, Mother,

who are in the world and surpass the world,

Blessed be your presence,

in us, in animals and flowers,

in still air and wind.

May justice and peace dwell among us,

as you come to us.

Your will be our will;

You will that we be sisters and brothers,

as bread is bread, water is itself,

For our hunger, for quenching of thirst.

Forgive us.

We walk crookedly in the world,

are perverse, and fail of our promise.

But we would be human,

if only you consent to stir up our hearts.


Poetic Renditions of the Aramaic Lord’s Prayer:1


O Divine Womb,

birthing forth the river of blessing which runs through all,

Soften the ground of our being,

and hallow in us a space for the planting of thy presence.

In our depths,

sow thy seed with its greening-power

that we might be midwives to thy Reign.

Then, let each of our actions

bear fruit in accordance with thy desire.

Impart to us the wisdom to bring forth the gifts of the earth

and share them daily according to the needs of each being,

And restore that which has been usurped

by injustice to its rightful owners,

as we restore to others that which is not our own.

Do not let us be seduced

by that which would divert us from our purpose,

but make us sensitive to the moment at hand.

For from thy fertile soil is born the creativity,

the life-energy, and the dance,

from birthing to birthing. Ameyn.







Yo, Bid Daddy Upstairs,
You be chillin’
So be yo hood
You be sayin’ it; I be doin’ it
In dis hood and in Yo’s
Gimme some eats
And cut me some slack
So’s I be doin’ it to dem dat diss me
Don’t be pushin’ me into no jive
And keep dem Crips away
Cuz you always be da Man
Skraight up.



Poetic Renditions of the Aramaic Lord’s Prayer:


O Source of the Wave, which envelops and embraces the cosmos,

sustaining and renewing it at each moment,

Penetrate the deepest recesses of our hearts,

and there create a space for thy holy shrine.

In this nuptial chamber,

conceive the creative potency of thy Reign,

So that we may give birth to the embodiment of thy desire:

As from the emanation, so too in form.

With passion and soul let us generate that which is needed to sustain life this day.

Release us from the bondage of our karma,

as we free others from the captivity of their guilt.

And do not let superficiality cause us to vacillate,

but rather free us from all that impedes growth.

For from thee bursts forth all that

dignifies, gives life, and astonishes,

from cycle to cycle, restoring wholeness. Ameyn.




Poetic Renditions of the Aramaic Lord’s Prayer:


O creative Breath,

ebbing and flowing through all forms,

Free us from all constrictions,

so that the current of thy life

may move in us without hinderance.

Empower us with thy creativity,

and clothe us with royal dignity,

So that,fully at one with the vortex of thy desire,

sacred actions pour forth from us

with each breath we release.

Renew in us this day

our lifebreath, vigour, and passion,

And untie the tangled threads of destiny which bind us,

as we release others from the entanglement of past mistakes.

Do not let us lose ourselves in distraction,

but by the way of the breath,

lead us into mindfulness.

For from thy depths pour forth

the Way, the Life, and the Splendour,

from age to age, it is so. Ameyn.



Poetic Renditions of the Aramaic Lord’s Prayer:


O Source of the Radiance,

dancing in and about all-that-is,

Shine forth into the depths of our beings,

and enkindle there the flame of thy essence.

Grant that it may blaze forth

and fill us with its searing creativity,

Until, fully united with thy fiery desire,

light pours out from us, taking form.

May we be revitalised each day

with nourishment for body and spirit,

And be liberated from all that oppresses us,

as we struggle to mend the fabric of our world.

Let us not be enmeshed in the nets of illusion,

but illuminate the opportunities of the present moment.

For from thee shine forth

the precepts, the sustenance, and the generative fire,

from centring to centring. Ameyn.





Poetic Renditions of the Aramaic Lord’s Prayer:


O Silent Sound,

whose shimmering music pulsates

at the heart of each and all,

Clear a space in us where thy melody

may be perceived in its purity.

Let the rhythm of thy counsel reverberate through our lives,

so that we move to the beat of justice, love, and peace.

Then, our whole being at one with thy song,

grant that the earth may be filled

with the beauty of thy voice.

Endow us with the wisdom to produce and share

what each being needs to grow and flourish,

And give us courage to embrace our shadow with emptiness,

as we embrace others in their darkness.

But let us not be captive to uncertainty,

nor cling to fruitless pursuits.

For from thee springs forth

the rhythm, the melody, and the harmony,

which restores all to balance, again and again. Ameyn.



Poetic Renditions of the Aramaic Lord’s Prayer:


O Parent of the Universe,

manifesting thyself as generative energy,

Bend over us and remove

all that clutters our being

and set apart a place

where thy sacredness may dwell.

Fill us with thy creativity,

so that we may be empowered to bear

the fruit of thy vision.

Then, moving to the heartbeat of thy desire,

make us the embodiment of thy compassion.

Drawing from the ground of our humanity

grant that we may renew each other

with love, understanding, and sustenance.

Empty us of frustrated hopes and despair,

as we restore others to a renewal of vision.

And let us not fall into agitation,

but save us from precipitous actions.

For thou art the ground

of the fruitful vision, the birthing-power, and the fulfilment,

as all is gathered and made whole once again. Ameyn.




O God, you love us like a good parent, and are present in every aspect of our existence. May your nature become known and respected by all. May your joy, peace, wholeness and justice be the reality for everyone as we live by the Jesus Way. Give us all that we really need to live every day for you. And forgive us our failures as we forgive others for their failures. Keep us from doing those things which are not of you, and cause us always to be centered on your love. For you are the true reality in this our now, and in all our future. In the Jesus Way we pray. Amen. (David Sorril)

God, lover of us all, most holy one. Help us to respond to you. To create what you want for us here on earth. Give us today enough for our needs. Forgive our weak and deliberate offences, just as we must forgive others when they hurt us. Help us to resist evil and to do what is good. For we are yours, endowed with your power to make your world whole. Amen.



Eternal Spirit, Father and Mother of us all, Holy is your name. Let justice and mercy fill all Creation and let us recognize that every thought and thing belongs to you. Feed us with the bread we need for today. Forgive our sin as we forgive those who sin against us. Stand with us in trial and temptation. Free us from the grip of all that is evil. For you alone are creating our universe, now and forever. Amen.



Indwelling God,
infused throughout all existence,
we honor you with many names.

Your realm is within the human heart.
We accept life for all that it can be,
on earth as throughout all creation.

May we continue to draw sustenance from this earth,
and may we receive forgiveness equal to our own.

May we ever move from separation toward union,

to live in grace, with love in our hearts,
forever and ever.  Amen.  Fred F. Keip

Our Father-Mother,  who lives in and beyond all of creation, may your name be made holy.  May your commonwealth thrive,  may your justice be done, may your loving compassion reign in every season. Give us today the bread we need; and forgive us our debts, as we have forgiven our debtors; in every trial strengthen us, in the midst of evil deliver us. For yours is the dominion, and the power, and the glory, now and forever.  Amen.

Most compassionate Life-giver,

may we honor and praise you:

may we work with you to establish

your new order of justice, peace and love.

Give us what we need for growth,

and help us, through forgiving others, to accept forgiveness.

Strengthen us in the time of testing,

that we may resist all evil.

For all the tenderness,

strength and love are yours, now and forever.

Amen.  (W Wallace)






God, heart of the world: revealed through every aspect of creation: understood through our awareness. May we honour the holiness of creation and act accordingly so that your love is reflected in the way we live. May we always be thankful for the food we eat and the friends we have. May we forgive those who transgress against us and be forgiven for our own. In the freedom of love may we live as your heartbeat and not be compromised by hesitation. Through our freedom, may your justice be seen and heard and experienced forever and ever. Amen. (Sherri J. Weinberg)



Loving God, within and around us, we revere you. We seek to live life as you would want us to do; with love and respect for all people and all things in the universe. May we find each day sufficient for our needs, and find forgiveness when we do wrong, just as we forgive those who do wrong to us. In times of trouble, may we centre our lives in you. For your being is love, which comes with strength and with beauty, throughout eternity. Amen. (Margaret Rolfe)






God, who cares for us,
The wonder of whose presence fills us with awe.

Let kindness, justice and love shine in our world.
Let your secrets be known here as they are in heaven.
Give us the food and the hope we need for today.

Forgive us our wrongdoing
as we forgive the wrongs done to us.
Protect us from pride and from despair
and from the fear and hate which can swallow us up.

In you is truth, meaning, glory and power,
while worlds come and go.
Amen.  (MFurlong/nwi)






Eternal Spirit

Earth-Maker, Pain-bearer, Life-giver,

source of all that is and that shall be,

Father and Mother of us all. Loving God, in whom is heaven.

The hallowing of your name echoes through  the universe!

The way of your justice be followed by the peoples of the earth!

Your heavenly will be done by all created beings!

Your commonwealth of peace and freedom

sustain our hope and come on earth.

With the bread we need for today, feed us.

In the hurts we absorb from one another, forgive us.

In times of temptation and test, spare us.

From the grip of all that is evil, free us.

For you reign in the glory of the power that is love,

now and forever.  New Zealand Prayer Book


Good caring presence within us, around us, and above us; Hold us in a sense of mystery and wonder.

Let the fullness of your goodness be within us and around us. Let all the world know your ways of caring and generosity. May we find we have all we needto meet each day  without undue anxiety.

Overlook our many stupidities, and help us to release everyone from their stupidities. May we know we are accepted. Strengthen us that we will reach out to the best, always with the faith to rise above the ugly realities of our existence. And we celebrate the gifts you have given us: the rich kingdom of life’s possibilities, the power to do good and the triumphs of good, and the moments when we have seen

the glory and wonder of everything. You are life’s richness.You are life’s power. You are life’s ultimate meaning.Always. And for everyone. And for ever more.  Amen. (FMacnab/fwb)






O presence and power within us, Being and Life of all.

How we are filled, how we overflow with infinite love and gladness!

We shall this day sow grace and peace, and show mercy to all, and gentle loving-kindness.

And we shall be not so self-serving, but a constant source of giving.

For ours is the essence, and the wholeness, and the fullness forever (PALaughlin/4r)






O Birther!  Father-Mother of the Cosmos

you create all that moves in light.

Hear the one Sound that created all others,

in this way the Name is hallowed in silence.

Your rule springs into existence as our arms reach out to embrace all creation. Let all wills move together

in your vortex, as stars and planets swirl through the sky.

Grant what we need each day in bread and insight:

subsistence for the call of growing life.

Lighten our load of secret debts as

we relieve others of their need to repay.

Keep us from hoarding false wealth,

and from the inner shame of

help not given in time (MFox/ormw)



Dear One,
closer to us than our own hearts,
farther from us than the most distant star,
you are beyond naming.

May your powerful presence become obvious
not only in the undeniable glory of the sky,
but also in the seemingly base
and common processes of the earth.

Give us what we need, day by day,
to keep body and soul together, because
clever as you have made us,
we still owe our existence to you.

We recognize that to be reconciled with you,
we must live peaceably and justly with other human beings,
putting hate and bitterness behind us.

We are torn between our faith in your goodness
and our awareness of the evil in your creation,
so deliver us from the temptation to despair.

Yours alone is the universe and all its majesty and beauty.
So it is.  Amen. (JBurklo, 2010)












Our Father, above us and all around us,

May your unspeakable Name be revered.

Here to earth, may your kingdom come.

Here on earth, may your will be done as it is in heaven.

Give us today our bread for today.

And forgive us our wrongs as we forgive those who wrong us.

Lead us away from the time of trial.

But liberate us from the evil.

For the kingdom is yours and yours alone,

And the power is yours and yours alone,

And the glory is yours and yours alone.


1Please see the comments section for proper attribution of these prayers.

2 thoughts on “Variations on the Lord’s Prayer

  1. Please note the proper attribution for the poetic renditions of the Aramaic Lord’s Prayer as posted here. They are taken from with the following note:

    These six possible “renderings” of the Aramaic Lord’s Prayer are based on the work of Saadi Neil Douglas-Klotz (see “Prayers of the Cosmos” and They are not literal translations, but rather something between a poetic translation and “midrash” based on the ancient roots of the Aramaic words of the prayer. Find out more about each line in the prayer by reading the introductory article here. Please do not reproduce these renderings without:

    a)Written permission by the author, Mark Hathaway (contact here), and

    b)an explicit aknowledgement of the work of Mark Hathaway and Neil Douglas-Klotz and a link to their respective websites ( and


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