A Meditative Recitation of Prayers Using the Lord's Prayer
OUR FATHER... In teaching us this prayer, Dear Lord, You remind us at the outset that You wish to be known and loved as a father. You desire no impersonal relationship with Your creatures; rather, You invite us to the intimacy enjoyed between a father and his child. You make it quite easy for me to comprehend the relationship which must exist between us. I well know the nature of a father's love for his child; I am personally acquainted with a number of excellent parents. I simply recall the concepts I have acquired about human parents and apply them to You, my Divine Parent. Yes, You are my father; and I love You with a child's tender trusting love.
WHO ART IN HEAVEN ... You live in heaven; but is this the limit of Your presence?no! You are omnipresent; You follow me wherever I go; I can never hide from You. But it is in heaven that You will manifest Yourself to me in a special way. In this prayer, You dangle before my eyes the promise of a paradise. Help me, 0 Lord, to be faithful to You so that I may one day enjoy the full experience of Your companionship in that home of unending pleasure... Heaven.
HALLOWED BE THY NAME ... Father, my principal occupation on earth should be the worship of Your glory. Men forget, for the most part, that they possess a solemn obligation to adore and revere You. I will attempt, in some small way, to make up this deficit by a warm, loving, affectionate response to You.
THY KINGDOM COME... I desire with all my heart the spread of Your kingdom on earth; and I promise to do all I am able to increase the growth of Your Church. Here is an opportunity for me to do something positive for You: labor for the extension of Your kingdom. Men so often approach You only to receive gifts from You; they fail to appreciate that they, in turn must do things for You. This is an obligation ... and a privilege. I will in the future spare myself no effort when an opportunity of working for You presents itself.
THY WILL BE DONE ... Your Divine Son clearly affirmed that not everyone who says, 'Lord, Lord' will enter the kingdom of heaven; no, only those who comply with Your Will. The prime aspect of Your Will in my regard is that I avoid sin. Sin is diametrically opposed to Your wishes. I have sinned in the past, my good Father, but I intend in the future ... with Your help ... to extirpate sin from my life.
GIVE US THIS DAY OUR DAILY BREAD... I am utterly dependent upon You for all the necessities of my spiritual and material life. Without Your constant support I would fall into nothingness. Mindful of this, I once again humbly petition You for everything of which I stand in need ... be it temporal or spiritual.
FORGIVE US OUR TRESPASSES ... 0 God, be merciful to me a sinner. I have sinned; and You know it so well. But I have confidence that Your mercy far exceeds my sinfulness.
AS WE FORGIVE THOSE WHO TRESPASS AGAINST US ... You place this important restriction upon the pardon of my sins: that I exhibit the same forgiveness to my fellow men that I expect You to bestow on me. It would be unthinkable to demand pardon from You, and at the same time refuse that pardon to people who have offended me. Hence, Father, I do forgive all who have in any way injured me. I bear no grudges against them; I will be kind in my dealings with them.
LEAD US NOT INTO TEMPTATION, BUT DELIVER US FROM EVIL ... I am buffeted on many sides, good Father, with temptations to disobey Your law and grow lax in Your service. I need Your powerful assistance, else I will be consumed by these temptation. Help me, my God.
I will begin anew and recite the "Our Father" meditatively, or I shall select another prayer. At any rate, I will continue to converse with God, through the assistance of vocal prayer, until the period of meditation is terminated.