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5 Versions of the Lord's Prayer

Updated on September 13, 2018

Praying Hands In Stained Glass

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There Are More Versions of This Prayer Than I Knew

Did you know there are many variations of The Lord's Prayer? Until a few years ago, I didn't. Many of us learned The Lord's Prayer as children, simply from hearing it, then saying it every Sunday in church. I was one of those children. By the time I was eight or nine years old, I could recite The Lord's Prayer by rote, along with The Apostle's Creed, the Doxology, the alphabet, and the multiplication tables. This is good, but it can also be bad. By that I mean that when we can recite something without even thinking about it, the meaning is often lost for us. That is what happened for me.

These days, I actually listen to the words and consider their meanings. For example, when we say, "...thy kingdom come, thy will be done..." we are actually saying that we want the Kingdom of God to come, and that we want God's will, not our own, to be done here on Earth, just as it is in heaven.

Over the years, after incorporating many readings into my daily prayer and meditation time, I have learned that there is more than one version of this beautiful prayer. Who knew? Unexpectedly, I continue to find more in my daily devotional readings.

Who Knew?

I have done a lot of reading about prayer and relationships with God and Jesus over the last 9 or 10 years, and I have learned a lot. At times I found myself saying "I grew up in the church. I've been in church all my life. How did I not know this? How could I not know that?"

Some of those things are not related to The Lord's Prayer, nor to prayer in general, so they are outside the scope of this lens. Some, however, relate specifically to prayer. For example, did you know that it is not required that you be on your knees when you pray? I often pray while sitting in a chair, while driving, while standing, etc., but I always believed that I should be on my knees. According to Joyce Meyer, in her book The Power of Simple Prayer, it is "the enemy" who gives us these hard and fast rules to follow.

Double Daylily

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Something to Think About

When we say "forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us", what we are saying is that we want God to forgive us in the way and amount that we have forgiven others. Ouch! What if we haven't forgiven someone? What then?

Did You Know....

- that to forgive does not mean to pretend something never happened

- or that you can actually forget about it.

It does mean that you no longer hold it against the other person. It is similar to the way in which you might forgive a monetary debt: You may decide to tell the person that you have "forgiven" the debt. That doesn't mean you never lent the money. It just means you have decided it is not necessary for him/her to pay you back. In other words, you no longer hold him/her responsible for the debt. Forgiveness of slights or hurts can be thought of in this way. This does not mean it is easy to do, just that it can be done.




A Need for Prayers From the Heart, Without Flowery Language

In my daily prayer and meditation time, I have developed a more open two-way communication with God. I came to understand that God doesn't require our prayers to sound grand, only that they be from the heart. So I have come to be able to speak plainly, without flowery language in my prayers. I've changed some of the words for modernization, and added a couple of commas for clarity. Mainly, I noticed that most people say "...Your will be done..." as if that were the end of the sentence; as if there were a period after the word "done", and then pause before saying "...on earth, as it is in heaven...." There isn't a period after "done". It is one complete sentence. Some versions do show a comma after the word "done", and some have no punctuation there.

My Dad's Azalea

This is one of my dad's azaleas that I moved with me when we relocated.
This is one of my dad's azaleas that I moved with me when we relocated. | Source

My Own Version, Developed as My Dad Lay Dying

In the summer of 2009, my dad died of cardiovascular disease. He was on a ventilator for several days. During much of that time, I was alone in an ICU consult room. I prayed almost continuously. It was not a time for flowery language. It was a time for direct communication. I prayed The Lord's Prayer and the Serenity Prayer repeatedly.

It's strange what goes through a person's mind at times of severe stress, and, always a stickler for correct grammar and for sentences that make sense, I began saying it to myself without pausing after "...your will be done..." and mentally making the changes as I've written below. I did this without even realizing I was doing it. It took a very long time (almost 3 years) for me to write it down.

Our Father in heaven,

honored be your name.

Your kingdom come,

your will be done on earth,

as it is in heaven.

Give us, just for today,

our daily food,

and please forgive us our sins

as we forgive those who sin against us.

Lead us not into temptation,

but deliver us from evil.

For yours alone is the kingdom,

and the power,

and the glory, forever.

The Lord's Prayer as I Learned it in Childhood

Our Father, who art in heaven,

hallowed be thy name.

Thy kingdom come,

thy will be done.

On earth as it is in heaven.

Give us this day

our daily bread,

and forgive us our trespasses

as we forgive those who trespass against us.

Lead us not into temptation,

but deliver us from evil.

For thine is the kingdom,

and the power,

and the glory, forever.

Did you learn The Lord's Prayer as a child?

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Do you reserve time each day for prayer/meditation?

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Prayer Beads with Celtic Cross

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A Roman Catholic Version

Our Father Who art in heaven,

hallowed be thy name.

Thy kingdom come.

Thy will be done.

On earth as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread;

and forgive us our trespasses

as we forgive those who trespass against us.

And lead us not into temptation,

but deliver us from evil.

Another Catholic version I've seen says, "...and keep us from the evil one" instead of "... and deliver us from evil".

From Luke 11:2-4 (New International Version)

This one leaves out a lot of the text. Too much, in my opinion.

Father, hallowed be your name,

your kingdom come.

Give us each day our daily bread.

Forgive us our sins,

for we also forgive everyone who

sins against us.

Our Family Bible

This is our family Bible, handed down from my parents.
This is our family Bible, handed down from my parents. | Source

From Luke 11:2-4 (King James Version)

Our Father which art in heaven,

Hallowed be thy name.

Thy kingdom come.

Thy will be done,

As in heaven, so in earth.

Give us day by day our daily bread.

And forgive us our sins;

For we also forgive every one that is indebted to us.

And lead us not into temptation,

But deliver us from evil.

My problem with this one?

1. God is not a "which". God is a "who".

2. People are not "that". People are "who" Only inanimate objects should be referred to as "that".

3. Sentences should not be started with "and" or "but". I know they sometimes are, but they should not be.

This is my photo of my parents' old family Bible, which Mickie Gee is helping me to repair. The photo was taken before the now-in-process repair work began.

Is God a Which or a Who?

Above I said that God is "who", not "which or what", representing the difference between a being and a thing. On the other hand, we know that God is a spirit, neither male nor female. So, maybe "she/he" is a what or a which, after all. It seems simpler for our limited human minds to relate to a personified image of God, so we have given God a pronoun. Why don't we use "she", you ask? Ah, that's a good question.

I have both of the books shown below in my small personal library. Each one has helped me in its own way. I cherish each of them, and refer to them frequently. I recommend them highly to anyone who is trying to strengthen his/her prayer life.

Jesus Calling (Large Print Leathersoft): Enjoying Peace in His Presence (with Full Scriptures)
Jesus Calling (Large Print Leathersoft): Enjoying Peace in His Presence (with Full Scriptures)

This is a wonderful book that I discovered only a few months ago. It is one of the most reassuring, stress-relieving, and comforting books I have ever read. I recommend it highly.

 
Come Thirsty: No Heart Too Dry for His Touch
Come Thirsty: No Heart Too Dry for His Touch

I also enjoyed this one. The first chapter is written as a novel, but then Lucado gets to the meat of the topic. I especially like the way he explained how Jesus (Yeshua) took on our sins. He related it to the way a person can "carry" a disease without being sickened by the disease. For me, as a public health person, this analogy was particularly relevant.

 

Thank you for visiting this page and sharing my experience with prayer and meditation. I hope it has helped you in your prayer life, or at least, given you food for thought. Please feel free to share your thoughts on this topic, and please let me know you dropped by to visit.

© 2012 MariaMontgomery

Pray the Lord's Prayer

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    • profile image

      FRa 

      6 months ago

      As a Musim, I would give the following suggestion: Rather than "Lead us not into temptation" it is better to say "Guide us against temptation." Why? Because it is Satan that leads up into temptation, not God. The words "lead" and "guide" are used interchangeably and mean the same in some instances. So it is better to use "guide" rather than "lead" in the Lord's Prayer.

    • profile image

      Bea 

      16 months ago

      I've just googled why there are so many versions of the Lord's Prayer. I was raised Methodist but when I later went to a Catholic school as a teenager I was taught a different version. Again, I have friends in a different church now who have another version.

      At gatherings of multiple churches I get nervous that people will notice I am saying the 'wrong' version.

    • MariaMontgomery profile imageAUTHOR

      MariaMontgomery 

      4 years ago from Central Florida, USA

      @ delia-delia, thank you, I'm so glad you enjoyed it. I really helps me to do that, too. So often we say the words by rote without thinking of the meanings -- I'm trying to stop doing that. Thanks for visiting.

    • delia-delia profile image

      Delia 

      4 years ago

      Love this page! When I pray the Lord's Prayer, I envision the words on how they would be expressed visually...it makes me concentrate on what I'm saying with meaning and feelings. There are many given reasons in the Bible when God will not hear our prayers.

    • MariaMontgomery profile imageAUTHOR

      MariaMontgomery 

      4 years ago from Central Florida, USA

      @dwinkenhofer: You're very welcome. I love it, too. Thanks for the visit and for your comment. Both are appreciated.

    • profile image

      dwinkenhofer 

      4 years ago

      I love this prayer. Thanks for sharing the different versions.

    • MariaMontgomery profile imageAUTHOR

      MariaMontgomery 

      5 years ago from Central Florida, USA

      @David Stone1: Thank you, and also thank you for the the squidlike.

    • David Stone1 profile image

      David Stone 

      5 years ago from New York City

      A wonderful, thoughtful lens. We can always use more. Keep up the good work.

    • MariaMontgomery profile imageAUTHOR

      MariaMontgomery 

      5 years ago from Central Florida, USA

      @favored: Thank you for visiting this lens, for your squidlike, and for such a thoughtful comment. I agree with you completely. Thanks again.

    • favored profile image

      Fay Favored 

      5 years ago from USA

      It's funny how people get defensive about things concerning the Bible. Even though I learned this as a child, now that I teach it, the passage has real meaning to me. Knowing the Greek and Hebrew meanings for words changes the entire passage, especially that it is a disciple's prayer. Thank you for sharing this with us. It's a wonderful prayer that has blessed me each time I pray it.

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