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When you pray, say.
"Father, may your name be holy.
May your rule take place.
Give us each day our daily bread.
Pardon our debts, for we ourselves pardon everyone who is indebted to us,
And do not bring us to trial (into a trying situation)"      Q1

Unless the hundred words following the prayer are taken to be commentary on "give us this day our daily bread" ( an entirely plausible assumption).  This everything Q1 has to say about prayer.  Even the Jesus of the gospels says relatively little about prayer: keep it short, keep it quiet, keep it humble; and he sets an example by praying.  Jews were and are a very prayerful people so there was probably little he needed to say.

This little prayer, or the variation of it found in Matthew with the frequent substitution of "trespasses" for "debts" (--i've sometimes wondered if "debts" caught on in urban environments where money was important, and "trespasses" seemed more relevant in rural communities because of the importance of land) must be the most frequently prayed prayer in the world, heard in thousands of twelve-step meetings, hundreds of thousands of churches, and hundreds of millions of families on any given day



May your name be holy--the Tao that can be named is not the true Tao.

May your rule take place--just a reminder that the realm of god has come and that we ought to be living as though that were true.

Give us our daily bread--so we don't have to think about it.

Pardon our debts--more on this below.

Do not bring us to trial--often changed to "deliver us from evil."

Five simple requests of the ultimate power of the universe.

This prayer is the only mention of forgiveness in Q1.  Even in the gospels, it is not a strong theme: Jesus forgives his executioners; he tells Peter that one should forgive "seventy times seven time". and he frequently absolved the sins of people who came to him for healing or advice.  Yet, forgiveness is rightly seen as a major theme in Jesus' teaching.  Steven Mitchell has an interesting discussion of why forgiveness was of such importance to Jesus which i will skip here although it makes sense to me

Pardon is the only element of the Lord's prayer which is conditional.  We can pray for forgiveness because we have already forgiven the people we need to forgive.  Otherwise, presumably, we must interrupt our prayer, go out and forgive everybody, and then come back and resume our prayer.  Forgiveness is an essential element in loving enemies, being merciful, and being non-judgmental.

There are many people i need to forgive
There are many relationships where we need to forgive one another.
There are people i need to go to and say, "i have forgiven you for.............."
Every time i go off on a tirade against what i regard as the stupidity of people, or their greed or meanness, i have to both repent and forgive--repent for my judging and forgive the ignorance, greed, meanness or whatever.
And i do not give myself enough forgiveness--for i am also aware that i am ignorant, greedy, egotistic, and mean and i like these characteristics as little in myself as i do in others.

Forgive me my trespasses as i forgive those who trespass against me.  Amen.

Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
heartwork
Jul. 24th, 2010 01:49 pm (UTC)
i struggle a lot still with forgiveness. it is a very difficult one for me.
bobby1933
Jul. 24th, 2010 09:22 pm (UTC)
Because this is something i am told to do, i have to assume it is do-able. If i don't do it, it is because i lack either the will or the know-how. There may be techniques of forgiving that can be learned, i'm not sure about that. I do know that forgiveness can be willed. For example, knowing that my failure to forgive can be much more of a burden for me than it is for the unforgiven person, i can decide that i owe it to myself to forgive that person
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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