Prayer isn’t the only tool at our disposal when the world is burning, but it’s a pretty good one.
(click image to view video)
Here’s what we used:
The Lord’s Prayer (extended dance mix)
-by Rev. Nadia Bolz-Weber
Our Father, Our Mother, Our Holy Parent, The Source of All Being from whom we came and to whom we return, You who knows us better than we know ourselves. Jesus called you Abba and so shall we, even as we may have an ambiguous relationship with parenthood - Be to us our Holy Parent, the one who loves without condition.
Who art in heaven, Our Father who art in everything. Our Father who art in orphanages and neonatal units, and jail cells and luxury high-rises, who art in law offices and adult book stores, and who art in rooms alone with suicidal people. Our Father who art in the halls of Congress and the halls of tenements.
Hallowed be thy name. Holy is your name. Ever since the beginning we have attributed our own ego and wishful thinking and greed and malice and racism and ambition and manipulations of others to you and to your name – and yet your name remains holy. We print “In God we trust” on the US dollar and then worship that dollar and the power that dollar brings us, and yet still, your name remains holy.
Thy kingdom come, God, right now we beg you to bring more than just a small measure of heaven to earth because, if you haven’t noticed, we are in a global pandemic, and there are unjust wars waged on innocent people in Yemen, Ethiopia and Ukraine - not to mention, the Earth is on fire. It’s a mess down here, Lord, So, we need your Kingdom to speed the hell up. We need wise leaders, and just systems and an extra dose of compassion for all of us.
Thy will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven. Thy will and not ours be done. Forgive us when we use prayer as a self-help technique by which we can get all the cash and prizes we want out of your divine vending machine if we just kind of bug you to death through ceaseless prayer, because when it comes down to it, we know better. You are our Father whose name is holy and whose love is boundless and who - as our holy Parent – wants to hear our prayers.
Give us today our daily bread. Give us today our daily bread, our daily naan, our daily tortillas, our daily rice. Lord, give us real bread, even when we keep reaching for those literal and metaphorical Krispy Kremes. Give us the gift of enough-ness. May our response to perceived scarcity always be increased generosity for we are your children and from you we receive everything. Give us today our desire for the neighbor to be fed. Give us today a desire for a good that is held in common..
And forgive us our sins. As we forgive those who sin against us. Forgive us when we hate what you love. Forgive us when we would rather anesthetize ourselves than feel anything. Forgive us for how much we resent in others the same things we hate in ourselves Forgive us for the terrible things we think about our own bodies, bodies you have made in your image. And this one is hard, but please forgive us for thinking we know the hearts of our enemies.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Deliver us from the inclination that we too do not have evil in our hearts. Deliver us from religious and national exceptionalism. Deliver us from addiction and depression. Deliver us from self-loathing. Deliver us from self- righteousness. Deliver us from high fructose corn syrup. Deliver us from a complete lack of imagination about where you are in our lives and how you might already be showing up. Deliver us from complacency. Deliver us from Complicity.
As Jesus taught us, we are throwing this bag of prayers at your door. We are not asking nicely, Lord. We are your children and we are claiming your promises as our own today. Some of us are holding your feet to the fire, some of us don’t know if we believe in you, some of us are distracted and just going through the motions, some are desperately in love with you....but all of us are your children. Use these prayers to hammer us all into vessels that can accept the answer when it comes. For Thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever and ever.
And the children of God say, AMEN.
Receive this blessing: Go forth into the world in peace. Be of good courage. Hold fast that which is good. Render to no one evil for evil. Strengthen the faint-hearted; support the weak; help the afflicted; honor all people. And the blessing of the Triune God, Eternal Majesty, Incarnate Word, and Abiding Spirit rest upon you this day and remain with you forever.
The Corners by Nadia Bolz-Weber is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.
If you’d like to support my work, access more content, and engage with me and other subscribers here, you can subscribe to The Corners using the button below. You will have access to exclusive essays, conversation threads, Q & A, and all the archives.
(I’m a big believer in paying for content. I have paid subscriptions to many publications and am a patron of several artists and thinkers whose work I love. BUT I am also someone who had very little money for most of her life and even lived on government assistance for many of them, so I know what it is like to not have extra. This is why The Corners is set up as a “those who can pay do and those who can’t need not have to” model. Just email firstname.lastname@example.org for a free subscription)
READ my NYT bestselling memoirs: Pastrix; The Cranky, Beautiful Faith Of A Sinner & Saint (Re-released 2021), Accidental Saints; Finding God In All The Wrong People(2015) and SHAMELESS; A Sexual Reformation (2019).