I have never been the kind of person who prays. I don’t resonate with speaking to the emptiness about my needs, wants, concerns, hopes, whatever. Which is not to say that I have not prayed. I have prayed. I have even found comfort in prayer on an occasion or two. I even grew up knowing a few of the prayers that tell me what to say. My grandmother taught me a nightly prayer which I still know, I am an avid user of The Serenity Prayer, and I was taught The Lord’s Prayer.
The Lord’s Prayer has always been this dull selection of words that I said because I was taught to. The same way you recite The Pledge of Allegiance in kindergarten; you don’t really know what you’re saying. However, when I read The Lord’s Prayer in Matthew I had a moment (or twenty) that compelled me to read it, again and again.
“Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name.
Your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
and forgive us our debts,
as we forgive our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.”
This spoke me a great deal on a recovery level. In recovery we talk about the will of a Power greater than ourselves being active in our lives. This is a major aspect of step two and step three.
Second step work is about coming to believe in a Power greater than yourself. Third step work is about turning your will and your life over to the care of God, as you understand Him. We usually use the Serenity Prayer as a verbal reminder of this acceptance of God’s will as a replacement of our own will. But, I think The Lord’s Prayer also serves as a reminder of these steps.
Something that I was taught to do when writing my steps is to break down some of the words to gain a better understanding of what the step actually means. When reading The Lord’s Prayer, that is what I felt would help me identify more greatly with the prayer itself. In doing so I found a simple and inclusive beauty to the prayer.
God in heaven, you are holy. May your leadership be here, and may what you wish be so on earth the way it is in heaven. Provide for us what we need, and forgive us for our mistakes the same way we forgive others for their mistakes. Guide us to do what is right and keep us safe from evil.