Saturday, July 21, 2012

Praying The Psalms

 In keeping with our monthly July theme of going deeper into Prayer, here are the notes for the Sunday, July 22 conversation on Praying The Psalms. It is a good followup to this past Sunday's Praying The Hours, since including Psalm reading and reflection is often a key part of each of the daily office prayer times. And it is a good followup to our conversation on Lectio Divina, since applying the exercise of lectio divina to the Psalms is a wonderful way to let the Psalms speak to you, to read you. Here is the outline for tomorrow's conversation at 9:30 am followed by communion, and common meal.

Praying The Psalms

Part of The Daily Office, Part of Lectio Divina, or as a Separate Spiritual Practice, or to turn to in special times of tragedy

Psalms and Exile Experience, Attributed To David

Psalms and Jesus

Psalms and The Experience of Life: Orientation/Security, Disorientation/Lament, Re-Orientation/Praise for Newness of Life

Psalms and Power of Place and Language and Full Range of Emotions (vengeance and violence)

Psalms and Hope, Parallelism: Enemies Destroy/King Orders; Tears/Table; Trampled/Clapping

Psalms and Personal Experiences

Psalm Sampler: 1, 8, 22, 23, 88, 90, 137, 139

Psalm Writing Spiritual Exercise

Invocation, Naming: O____________

Simile: Like A ___________, (Name, Action) __________________Me.

Struggle: I Fear________________________________

Prayer of Delivery: But_____________________________________

Thankfulness/Praise: Still, __________________________________________

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Saturday, July 14, 2012

An Octave of Prayer: Praying The Hours

On Sunday, July 15 we will be introducing Praying the Hours. We will be developing up both an online and face to face prayer community. Here is the handout we will be using for the lesson and conversation during our weekly missional worship gathering, followed by communion followed by common meal, and tomorrow followed by the great film Into Great Silence, about the contemplative life of monks in a monastery in the French Alps, as the film is itself a portal into contemplation and prayer. Much of this comes from the book Praying the Hours in Ordinary Life by Lauralee Farrer and Clayton J. Schmit. There is an orientation to the hour; the prayer refrain; contemplation on the focused hours; an example from the poet Rainer Marie Rilke's Book of Hours, and liturgies. For our ongoing praying the hours we will also be drawing from various Book of Hours and from original and other sources.

An Octave of Prayer

Prime…6 to 9 am…

The day is lit. Choose your course….

My heart pounds in Your rhythm. Syncopate my life, O God….

The sun is up, stopping and praying shapes the day instead of the day shaping us. Each day is Resurrection Day; there can be an end to repetition. Bring forth the Song in you. Be careful to spend the energy of this hour on dissipated goals. Brief prayers, perhaps during the commute to work, praying for those you know you will meet, and for those you don’t yet know whom you will meet during the day.

No idea is too small for me. I love it no matter what. I paint it on a background of gold. Make it large and hold it high. Even though I don’t know yet, whose soul it will entice. Rilke book of hours.

O God, the sun has risen. With it, lift up our hearts and prepare us for all that the day will bring. Be with us in our humble and deliberate beginning of the day, in work as in prayer. O Come, let us sing to the Lord, let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation. Come into God’s presence with thanksgiving. Awake my soul. My heart pounds in Your rhythm.

Terce…9 am to Noon…

The light climbs. The worker pauses.

I worship You, with primal joy, Living God.

We have found the rhythm and focus of the day, and our last intuition is to stop. And yet we need to, because as Benedict of Nursia reminds us, work is not our purpose. As Rabbi Abraham Herschel says, It is a blessing to be; just to live is Holy. This is the hour of the Pentecost. We make room for the Spirit so that our actions flow from it and not from our own desires. We pause to remember the Joy of Life. The work that remains to be done when we return to work is the same, but we are different.

Like waters swell and ebb into the open sea, I want to proclaim Your name, in mounting waves, like no one has done before. (Rilke)

Come Spirit, into our hearts. Into our thoughts. Into our work. Into this day. May God be gracious to us and bless us and shine upon us. With Primal Joy, Living God, I worship You.

 Sext…Noon to 3 pm…

The sun is overhead. The traveler reaches a crossroad.

Give me courage for this hour.

The hour when the fruit of the forbidden tree is eaten. The hour Jesus hangs upon the cross. The dull center of ordinary time. The mid-life crisis of our day. Tempted to lethargy and apathy and despair. Hard to hold on. We can’t look at the sun directly. We can’t look directly at this hour. Half of life is spent and night is coming. Still God prepares the way, and opens the door. God works to unseal the heavy doors that we have built around our hearts. News from God comes rushing through dark alleys into your heart (rilke).

O Merciful One, may we know You more clearly, love you more dearly, and follow you more nearly, day by day.

God heals the broken-hearted and binds up their wounds, lifts up the downtrodden. You shall go out in joy and be led back in peace. The mountains and the hills before you shall burst into song and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands. Give me courage for this hour.

None…3 to 6 pm…

Shadows grow. No one lives forever.

 When daylight wanes, and shadows lengthen, to forgive is to make whole.

The time of melancholy, of loss, when we crave the transcendent and the permanent. We feel in suspense, incomplete. When Jesus cried out on the cross, O God why have you forsaken me? In this hour we learn to trust. To turn our attention toward the land of hope. To move from loss to legacy, to what we will leave behind. We will not be asked if we sinned, but if we loved.

I am like a tree that grows next to a grave holding high in its mighty branches the dream a lost boy once dreamt though he lies in my roots’ embrace forever gone in sadness and lament. Rilke

Come Spirit, be with us in the waning of the day. As shadows lengthen, strengthen our hold on Life itself.

God will keep your life, God will keep your going out and your coming in, from this time forth and forevermore. To forgive is to make whole.

 Vespers…6 to 9 pm…

Sundown. We gather together.

The sun recedes, we worship You. We eat, we pray, we drink, we sing.

The hour when we gather for food and friendship and family at the dying of the daylight. Embracing life as we embrace one another. We set aside petty grievances and forgive, and feed each other with new energy. We light candles for the light of hope that the sun will rise again.

I have hymns that I have not sung. I am out of your reach, but my heart bows to you. You think of me as great; but I am near. Rilke

It is you who lights my lamp, my God lights up my darkness. We eat, we pray, we drink, we sing.

Now the day is over. Night is drawing night. Shadows of the evening. Steal across the sky.

Compline…9 pm to Midnight….

The moon has risen. We enter the night rest.

 You lay me down in the arms of night. You guard and teach me as I dream.

The hour for sleep. Sleep is made common by its familiarity, yet what could be more strange, more intimidating? We enter the unknown world of dreams. Nearly half our lives are in a wonderland of absurdity. Into that dark we go alone. And we emerge often with little memory of where we have been or for how long. We have been made however for this Sabbath daily. So why not enter it with intention? Prayer guides us into the peace of the night. Into the Great Silence we keep until morning. We learn from compline how to enter into death not with fear but with wonder.

I revolve around God, the tower of old, and I spin amidst thousands of years, Yet I remain unclear of my role-am I a Falcon, a storm, or a beautiful Song? Rilke

The Lord be with you. And also with you. Lift up your hearts. We lift them up to God. Let us give thanks to God. Thanks be to God. Come to me all you who are weary and heavy-laden. And I will give you rest. You guard and teach me as I dream.

 Vigils…Midnight to 3 am…

The moon is overhead. We wait.

Here I am, here I am, Your servant, I AM.

The longest hour. The bridge between sleep and sunrise. Vigils means wakefulness. Keeping vigil is not just not being able to sleep, but it is purposeful wakeness at a time when otherwise we would be asleep. As in when watching over someone who is ill or who has died. When we know the steadfast love of God never ceases, so neither do our prayers. This too is an hour for longest sadness. The soundtrack for this hour is Silence. Mystery. Listening.

I raised my tired hands to You, in nameless pleading, that I would find my eyes again, with which I once beheld You. Rilke.

From the end of the earth I call to you. When my heart is faint. Lead me to the rock that is higher than I. For you are my refuge. Grant us a quiet night and peace at the last.

The sun shall no longer be your light by day, nor for brightness shall the moon give light to you by night; but God will be your everlasting light, and your God will be your glory. Neither death nor life nor angels nor rulers nor things present nor things to come nor powers nor height nor depth nor anything else in all Creation will be able to separate us from the love of God. Here I am, here I am, your servant, I Am.

Watch now, O God, with those who watch or weep tonight, and guard over those who sleep. Tend to the sick, rest your weary ones, bless your dying ones, soothe your suffering ones, be merciful for your afflicted ones, shield your joyous ones, liberate your oppressed ones, All for Love’s sake.

Lauds…3 to 6 am…

The sun returns. The sleeper awakes.

 Spirit, clothe me in the light.

This is the time from the sky’s first lightening to the sun’s release into the sky from the horizon. Joy cometh from mourning in the morning. This is the time of the new, of release and of relief, of celebration. Still for many in grief and despair the dawn brings dread. It is a time when there is the conflict between our dreams and our dawning reality. Prayer helps lead us where we do not want to go, from the is, to the is not, to the still to be. This is the time for the smallest of things to lead us into the biggest of things. A holocaust survivor tells of concentration camp misery being lightened by the song of a morning bird. A parent in a hospital is soothed by the smile of a sick child. The softest word turns rage away. Tender mercies of the Intimate and the Ultimate come to us in this hour.

Nearby is the land they call life. You will know it by its sincerity. Give me your hand. Rilke

Out of the depths I cry to you, I wait for You more than those who watch for the morning,

Spirit, clothe me in the light.

Saturday, July 07, 2012

"The Lord's Prayer" workshop texts

Workshop on “The Lord’s Prayer”

History of the Text

NRSV Matthew 6: 9-13…Pray then in this way: Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name.10Your kingdom come. Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.11Give us this day our daily bread.12And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.13And do not bring us to the time of trial, but rescue us from the evil one….Luke 11: 2-4: He said to them, ‘When you pray, say: Father,* hallowed be your name.
Your kingdom come.
*3 Give us each day our daily bread. *4 And forgive us our sins, for we ourselves forgive everyone indebted to us. And do not bring us to the time of trial.’…
KJV of Matthew: After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. 10 Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. 11 Give us this day our daily bread. 12 And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. 13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen. (This ending draws from the Didache, or teachings text from the late first century or early second century].

Scholars Version of Matthew’s version: Instead, you should pray like this: Our Father in the heavens, your name be revered. Impose your imperial rule, enact your will on earth as you have in heaven. Provide us with the bread we need for today. Forgive our debts to the extent that we have forgiven those in debt to us. And please don't subject us to test after test, but rescue us from the evil one. [the Our Father is the only part that received a red text decision by the Scholars, meaning it was most likely said by Jesus; in the heavens is black, or Jesus did not say it, it belongs to later tradition; your name be revered; impose your imperial rule is pink, meaning Jesus probably said something like this; enact your will on earth as you have in heaven is gray, meaning Jesus didn’t say it but the ideas are close to his; Provide us with the bread we need for today. Forgive our debts to the extent that we have forgiven those in debt to us, is pink; please don't subject us to test after test is gray. but rescue us from the evil one, is black.  

From Dr. Amy-Jill Levine, a Jewish professor of New Testament at Vanderbilt Divinity School and author:

From Amy-Jill Levine:
Lord's Prayer ... (Matthew 6:9-13) .. In Jewish thought, the designation of the deity as "Father" develops substantially during the Second Temple period, that is after the return from the Babylonian exile in 538 BCE. ... Malachi 2:10 ... This understanding of God as father continues in synagogues today, where Jews speak of and to Av ha-rachamim ("Merciful Father") as well as Avinu malkenu "Our Father, our King") and proclaim, Hu avinu ("He is our Father). pp. 41-43
... the translation "Daddy" is incorrect. The term means "father", and is not an expression associated primarily with little children. ... Even Joachim Jeremias, the scholar who first proposed rthe translation "Daddy" along with its unique attribution to Jesus, retracted his thesis and called it "A piece of inadmissable naivete." p. 43 By speaking of the "Father in heaven," Jesus thus insists that Rome is not
the "true" father. p. 45 "Hallowed be your name," is a component of most Jewish prayers. p. 45
"Your Kingdomn come" correlates in Jewish tradition with the expression olam ha-bah, "the world to come." The "world to come" is the messianic age. a time distinguished from and infinitely better than "this world" (olam ha-zeh). Jesus's plea for a divine kingdom to come has a conspicuous
political edge. The prayer seeks the divine kingdom, not the one of Caesar or his lackeys ... p. 46

Perhaps the best translatiopm, then, would be, "Give us tomorrow's bread today." for that makes the most sense in a first-century Jewish setting. Jewish texts speak of the olam ha-bah, the world to come, as a glorious banquet. Isaiah 25:6 .... In the church, taste of the messianic age is what should be encountered at the Eucharist (Communion), at the "Lord's table." "Give us tomorrow's bread today" therefore means "Bring about your rule, when we can eat at the messianic banquet." p. 48

As for "Forgive us our trespasses," the original was most likely "Forgive us our debts" ... It goes directly to the pocketbook; it says "Don't hold a debt. if someone needs, give." This is a call for economic justice. p. 49 The Greek phrase usually translated "Lead us not into temptation" ios better rendered "Do not bring us to the test." .... thus means "Do not put us in a situation where we might be tempted to deny our faith or morals." ... "Evil" in the line "but rescue us from evil" is more precisely "the evil one" ... on the colloquial level, the couplet may be seen as saying "Look, God, I don't need testing from you, and I certainly don't need being brought to the test by Satan." pp.50-51

The prayer is not "to Jesus"; it says nothing uniquely Christian; and it fits neatly within Jewish piety. p. 51

She says that she doesn’t advocate for its use now in the synagogue because of its tradition within the Christian churches, but both the church and the synagogue should recognize its strong historical Jewish roots.

 Alternative versions of the Lord’s Prayer

Collected from various sources

March 2010


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. You're in charge!

You can do anything you want! You're ablaze in beauty! Yes. Yes. Yes.


"Beloved, 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. Amen."


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. Amen.


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. RETRANSLATION (FROM THE ARAMAIC)

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!


Our Father, who art in heaven, slow to anger, and of great mercy, lover of all peoples of the 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 the world, and especially to the leaders of the nations, the gift of prayerful thought and thoughtful prayer; that following the example of our Lord, 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 trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. 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 thy 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.



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 leaping 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.)

EARTH DANCE based on the Lord's Prayer published in Minnesota Women's Press, December 1999 Author thought to be Karen Loveland, as member of Unity Church, Santa Rosa, CA Passed on in 2000 by Nancy Carroll

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! 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. Amen. circulated from the BC IREPM advent prayer list, 12/21/07

The Lord’s Prayer

(from Dominican Sisters Retreat, March 1993, Great Bend, Kansas)

Prayed with alternating sides...

Side 1: then Side 2:

1: Our Father

2: Our Mother

Who art in heaven

Who are in all the earth

Hallowed be they name

Holy is your truth

Thy kingdom come

May your wisdom come

Thy will be done, on earth

Your circle be one uniting

as it is in heaven

 heaven and earth

Give us this day our daily bread

Give us today a nurturing spirit

And forgive us our trespasses

Heal through us as we

as we forgive those who trespass

ourselves are healed

against us

Lead us not into temptation

Lead us into Fullness of life

But deliver us from evil

And liberate all that is good

For thine is the Kingdom,

For the Wisdom,

 the power and the glory

Presence and the Goodness are Yours

All: Now and forever


From John Dominic Crossan: The Greatest Prayer, Rediscovering the Revolutionary Message of the Lord’s Prayer:

 Our Father is God as House-Holder of the World, making sure that all households have enough;  We are images of the divine householder, collaborators for justice: “ It comes from the heart of Judaism through the mouth of Christianity to the conscience of the earth. It is a revolutionary manifesto and a hymn of hope. In that Abba Prayer the hallowing of God’s name means the coming of God’s kingdom so that God’s eternal will is accomplished “as in heaven so also in earth”. Think again of a two sided coin: one side of the coin proclaims the divine name, divine kingdom, and divine will; the other side announces enough human food for today; no human debt for tomorrow; and the absence of human violence always.  

Susan Warner song, Our Father, the new revised edition:

Thy kingdom come to every nation
Thy will be done in everything we do
Lord, lead us not into temptation
And deliver us
from those who think they're You

Lord send us forth to be of service
To build the schools and dig the wells
And deliver us from the creepy preachers
With their narrow minds and very wide lapels

Lord give us strength to bring compassion
to every corner of the world
And please allow for women in the Catholic priesthood
And remind the pope that he coulda been a girl

Lord deliver us from politicians
Who drop Your name in every speech
As if they're Your best friend from high school
As if they practice what they preach