The Lord s Prayer We all know the Lord s prayer or do we? It is the text in the Bible found at Matthew 6:9 through 13. Yet we know that there are

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1 The Lord s Prayer We all know the Lord s prayer or do we? It is the text in the Bible found at Matthew 6:9 through 13. Yet we know that there are many interpretations of the Bible. The King James is the most poetic and frequently, the passages we are most familiar with are the King James version. Sometimes the differences are subtle, using thy and thine, and sometimes even those subtle differences are enlarged when we begin to seek the meaning of this prayer. And sometimes the Bible verse we are most familiar with is a paraphrase that got lodged in our memory and when we look up the verse, to our surprise, it does not say what we thought it said at all! That has been the demise of many a train of thought in sermon writing. Oh I think, that would be perfect here in this talk. And when I look it up, it doesn t say what I thought it said and it doesn t fit at all so I start over. So today, you have a sheet of paper that has the verses from Matthew in the New Revised Standard version. Why do I use that version? Charles Fillmore probably used the King James version of the Bible. The Revised Standard Version wasn t published fully until the 1950 s and it was not without controversy. The New Revised Standard Version was published in 1989 and is accepted as the most scholarly interpretation of original documents and uses common English language. I d like to take the verses of the Lord s Prayer apart and look at the metaphysical meaning of the lines. I ll primarily use meanings taken from Unity co-founder Charles Fillmore s dictionary, The Revealing Word. You ll notice there is open space between the lines. Prayer is personal. Prayer speaks to our understanding, so I would like to invite you to write your own Lord s Prayer, in your language on the sheet. Maybe some of the ideas today will resonate with you. Maybe some of the ideas will shift your beliefs. Maybe some of the ideas are so different from your beliefs and you will simply hold on to the meanings you have been familiar with. And for some of you, this will not be all that different. This language from Matthew is NOT how Charles Fillmore phrased the Lord s Prayer. Let s begin with the concept of affirmative prayer. The Lord s Prayer is not asking for something so much as it is affirming and claiming what is already ours. It is a series of affirmations declaring our good. Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. The original Aramaic of this text uses a word Abba. This is term of endearment and familial intimacy, more like poppa or daddy. 1

2 The translation into Father seems a bit formal and stiff and not the intended intimacy. Why Father? This may be attributed to the Patriarchy present in the culture at the time the gospels were authored; the maleness of the authors; or maybe the identification of a male Jesus with his male parent. It is, in any interpretation, meant to invoke the divine and our intimate relationship to the divine. Heaven represents a state of consciousness in harmony with the thoughts of God. Fillmore says to hallow God s name means to realize this name means wholeness and perfection for us. So our prayer begins with words we use to acknowledge the Divine, our intimate relationship with this divinity and that our essence is the very wholeness and perfection of the Divine. We align ourselves with this truth in our conscious awareness. I acknowledge that many Unity ministers and interfaith ministers use Father, Mother, God to open prayers. While they are trying to be inclusive about the nature of the Divine, I cannot think of a more emotionally charged list of images. Maybe you have a good relationship with one or both parents and maybe you have not developed an antagonistic relationship with the dogma many have attached to the word God. Good for you! For most people that is not the case. So begin centering yourself in divine consciousness using the words you select. Let s take just a moment to begin your prayer with words for the divine and the sacredness of our divinity. Xxxxxxx Next we explore kingdom and will. Your kingdom come. Your will be done. Fillmore says the kingdom of God is our Christ consciousness. The verse in Romans used for the Daily Word on Friday says, The kingdom of God is not food and drink but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. Clearly the meaning of God s kingdom is not the archaic realms in some vague air location where there are streets of gold. The kingdom we are inviting into manifestation is the beauty of our own Christ consciousness of peace and joy. Will we know from our 12 Powers as the avenue through which the I AM expresses its potentiality. Fillmore says God s will is always all good and perfection for all God s children. Our I AM is always guiding us to greater good and greater expressions of love, peace and joy. On earth as it is in heaven. Once we understand the prayer is a metaphysical affirmation about our consciousness, 2

3 this invites our Christ consciousness and our I AM potentiality to manifest itself as perfectly in our human mind as in the absolute, unlimited realms of divine consciousness. Let s take a moment for you to write some words and ideas about your prayer for the kingdom and the will on earth as it is in heaven. xxxx Give us this day, our daily bread. This is an interesting line and there are really two claims. What I find fascinating about this line is its limited nature to one day. If Jesus was teaching us to pray, why didn t he say, Let our years be long and our wealth abundant? This is consciousness interpretation that is wholly mine. Jesus invited us to be fully present in the now. Everything really happens in the now. The past has already happened and the future is still potentiality. So acknowledge that the breath of each day comes from the divine and claim it one day at a time. Fillmore says bread is substance and our daily bread is the sustenance for spirit, mind and body. Some of this daily bread is appropriated in the form of food. There is substance in the words of Truth, and this substance is appropriated by prayer and meditation on Truth. As the children of Israel wandered in the desert for 40 years they were provided substance on a daily basis but if they tried to store it up, it spoiled. Let us claim our good is sufficient for what is before us in this day and trust, not worry, that what we will need tomorrow will also be provided. How does being present to the now, relying on the Divine for all you need in the present moment, show up for you? What is your language? Take just a moment to write the next lines of your prayer. Xxxx And now for some work! And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. Let me begin with the consciousness around debt. Debt, Fillmore holds, is an illusion that is the contradiction of the equilibrium of the Universe. There can be no such thing as lack in our wholeness through Spirit so debts are the illusions of our human thoughts. Forgiveness, Fillmore then defines as the process of giving up the false for the true; erasing sin and error from the mind and body. True forgiveness is only established through renewing the mind and body with thoughts and words of Truth. This is a statement of our own inner work. The Divine cannot forgive because the Divine is incapable of seeing us as lacking. However we stumble in the activity of our humanity, the Divine sees only our true self, the powerful and magnificent I AM of our being. The letting go and giving up work is the work of our consciousness. Let me let go of the belief I could owe anyone anything and the idea anyone could owe me anything because in truth I lack nothing. 3

4 In Truth I am whole. In Truth, I am an expression of Spirit, knowing that truth for each one. Sometimes it is as difficult to believe this about ourselves as it is to believe this about anyone else. It is difficult to let go of the idea that someone outside us owes us something--because it is difficult to let go of the idea they have diminished us in some way or taken away something we had or deserved. And so sometimes we can intellectually accept that we have nothing that needs to be forgiven BUT we still have those little thoughts about what others owe us. Here is the Truth, big T Truth, the Divine is the source of my life, my good, my health, my substance, my everything. If I perceive lack in any of that, I have gotten in my own way. I have allowed race consciousness, or those beliefs in pain, suffering and disease buried in our DNA, to convince me I am flawed or lacking and I have manifest those error thoughts in my life and body. The only way out of these conditions is to let go or forgive the error thoughts through affirming and claiming the truth in prayer and meditation. So what language can you use to let go of the error beliefs you hold about yourself and others? Take a moment to interpret that for yourself. Xxxx This next line speaks about an anthropomorphic entity outside ourselves that could lead us astray or choose to rescue us. And do not bring us into temptation, but rescue us from the evil. The interpretation is similar to interpreting the line from the Prayer of Jabez, and that you would keep me from hurt and harm. It all happens in our consciousness. Fillmore speaks about the temptations of Jesus in the desert as the desires and ambitions of the untried and untrained forces in the subconscious mind. For me, temptation is when the ideas and thoughts arising from sense consciousness appear more attractive than the truth I know. The evil or error is in my thoughts and my potential actions, not in some outside entity I need to be rescued from. I am really affirming the power of Spirit to guide me and protect me from my own error thinking. Charles Fillmore s version of the Lord s Prayer affirms, Leave us not in temptation but deliver us from evil, which gives us pretty much the same interpretation. The Divine is not an energy that forces us. We continue to have free will. There is no force of evil, there is only one power and one presence. Therefore, it is impossible to conceive of a Creative energy that would drive us into error or trials of error. We find our way into error and temptation all on our own. In prayer, we are instead affirming a power to guide us in the way of Truth, empowering us to let go of the error thoughts and actions. Let s take just a moment to write what the language of that affirmation of guidance and protection sounds like to us. Xxx 4

5 Finally is the optional language, For the kingdom and the power and the glory are yours forever. Interpreting this in consciousness seems pretty simple. Is there any consciousness other than divine consciousness that we desire? Is there any power more true, more wonderful than the power of our I AM? Fillmore describes glory as the realization of divine unity. What else could we possibly seek? And it all is through Spirit, Divine, Universal Mind not my personality, not my ego, not my doing. If you choose to add this, put this divine unity into your words. Xxx So now we have not only an interpretation of the Lord s Prayer, but our own words of prayer that are meaningful to us. And maybe all you need is the new meaning for the old words. What matters is that the prayer stirs something in you. The prayer is an affirmation of the good that is yours to claim. And that praying is your time of connection with the divine. Any time you turn your attention to the divine, you are praying. 5

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