June 24, 2015

Matthew 6.9-18

Pray like this:
[It's often a useful challenge to try to rephrase this, not that I could do it 'better' but that then I need to look more closely and strive to understand better.]

Our Father in the Spiritual Realm,
may we recognize your power and worth.
May your rule be manifest
and your intentions be realized
here on Earth as in Heaven.

Give us what we need
and forgive our failings
as you've taught us to forgive
everyone who angers us.

Please do not test our endurance
but rather, spare us from harm
for you are the source of any virtue
or any success we might claim.
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[emphasising the need for us to forgive, and echoing previous verses]:

If you forgive people what they owe you, your Father will also forgive you; but if you do not forgive what you're owed, neither will your Father forgive what you owe.

And when you fast, don't look dismal about it, like the hypocrites, who disfigure their faces to make their fasting visible. Truly I say, that's the only reward they can expect. But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, so your fasting will only be known to your secret Father, and the Father, who sees in secret, will reward you.

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Isn't this what we truly need -- and truly want, so far as we recognize that?

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