Thought for the week
EACH week an member of the local clergy will be
sharing a thought for the week. This week the Rev. C. W.
Bell, Rector of Eglantine Parish
ON a recent visit to the Belfast Odyssey's W5 Interactive
Exhibition I came across the following quotation, 'Discovery is
not seeing new landscapes, but having new eyes'- Marcel Proust.
In our prayer lives, as elsewhere, it is only too easy to get
stuck in the rut of the too familiar.
At Church Services, especially for those of us who use Prayer
Books, it is only too easy to repeat words parrot-fashion; not to
really think about the words used in prayer. So it can be
stimulating to read familiar words used in prayer. And it can be
stimulating to read familiar words in a translation which is new
Take a look at the Lord's prayer; for example, in the following
version, which comes from Canada:
May all People honour You.
May your rule be accepted
And Your purpose be accomplished
As in Heaven so now on earth.
Give us today the food we need.
Forgive us the wrong we have done
As we forgive those who have wronged us.
Save us from losing our faith in you
And deliver us from the power of evil.
Yes, even the Lord's Prayer can be looked at in new ways!
An old Book Mark/Prayer Card, which I was given many years ago
has the following thoughts printed on it:
'The few words that make up the 'Model Prayer' say at least
eight things about the person who strives to follow the teaching
of Jesus Christ:
1. Our Father - The Prayer of the Lowly Child. A reminder
that we are all God's Children, made in His image whether we are
aware of the fact or not. He loved us before we loved Him.
2. Hallowed by your Name - The Prayer of the devout
Worshipper. Words that can only be prayed by one who is sincere
in the their Worship. Holy things are for Holy people. 'Holy'
means set apart for God. 'Hallowed' means respected. Good
manners are always worth showing.
3. Your Kingdom come - The Prayer of the Loyal Citizen.
Christians are citizens of two kingdoms - one earthly, one
Heavenly. We want the law of God to rule in our land. We want
the goodness of the Gospel to rule in our land. We have been
given the Ten Commandments to guide our conduct.
4.Your will be done - The Prayer of the Obedient Servant.
Jesus was the Greatest (and Humblest) Servant who ever lived.
His prayer to the Father was 'Your will be done, not mine.' He
was obedient, even to Death on a Cross, for the sins of the
5.Give us our daily bread - The Prayer of the Needy Beggar.
Someone once described preaching the Gospel as 'one needy beggar
telling another needy beggar where they both can find bread.'
6. Forgive us our sins - The Prayer of the Discharged Debtor.
Before God we are all people in debt, who have been let off. We
cannot earn God's forgiveness. We cannot buy it either. The
grace of God is a free gift.
7. Lead us not into temptation - The Prayer of the Guided
Pilgrim. Jesus never promised that we would be free from
temptation but that with His help we would have the power to
8.Deliver us from evil - The Prayer of the Liberated Captive.
This could also be translated 'Deliver us from the Power of the
Evil One - The Devil'. There seems to be so much evil reported
every day in the News Bulletins! The Christian conviction is
that Good will win in the end.
Amen - so be it.