Praying the Lord's Prayer
“Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.” - Matthew 6:13 KJV
“Do not bring us to the time of trial, but deliver us from evil.” - Matthew 6:13 NRSV
My daily prayer during the pandemic has been woven with the Lord’s prayer. It is a simple prayer, but a profound one with many layers of meaning. To deepen my engagement with it, I have started switching between the different versions of the Lord’s prayer.
In the line we all know from the King James Version (above), we are asking God not to lead us into temptation, which makes us think of our personal sins. We could enlargen that to include our collective sins and even our systemic sins. But ultimately, the translation inspires us to think about sin that we ourselves commit. This is, of course, an important part of our life in Christ and a beautiful translation. But in this time of pandemic, lament has been on my mind and I have found the NRSV translation (above) to engage that sentiment. Asking God not to bring us to the time of trial encompasses both personal sin and also experiences that cause us to lament. A time of trial could be self-inflicted, but also could be inflicted on us by other people, events, and circumstances outside of our own control. With a raging pandemic, along with other local and global issues threatening our well-being, I find myself praying, “Save us from the time of trial,” with more depth of feeling than ever before.
I encourage you to pray the Lord’s prayer daily. Try the different translations and experience for yourself the ways that they deepen your prayer life with God. May God’s peace which surpasses all understanding guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.