QUESTION: You spoke in Dallas a few years ago about the metaphysical interpretation of the Lord’s Prayer. I am 500 days in recovery and have said this prayer what seems like 10,000 times. Now that I am sober, I have been looking everywhere for that interpretation. It seems awkward to say this prayer over and over again without being able to relate to it.
COMMENT: Congratulations on your sobriety—and your commitment to the process of recovery! As someone who has walked that path, I know how challenging it can be—and how richly rewarding it is. I am happy to send this step-by-step journey through the Lord’s Prayer. I hope it’s what you’re seeking—and that it will help make the ten-thousand-and-first saying of the Lord’s Prayer a little more meaningful.
It is difficult to encompass in one brief response the whole of the Lord's Prayer. As with all of our appreciation of the power of the Bible, we have to approach it with fresh eyes, and an open heart. If it was important to Jesus—and Jesus is the guide, way-shower and perfect example of the Christ expression we are striving to be—then there may well be something powerful and important there for us. And, indeed, I believe there is.
The Lord's Prayer, first of all, is not a form of pleading or beseeching addressed to a distant God. It is a clear and simple affirmative prayer, in perfect and powerful alignment with Unity principles about the nature of God, our relationship to God, and the creative spiritual work that is ours to do.
”Our Father which art in heaven”
This is an immediate and radical restatement of our relationship to God -- not as a distant, awesome Power to be approached in fear and trembling, like Dorothy and friends standing before the image of the Wizard, but rather “abba,” poppa - intimate and familiar (except that in Aramaic the reference is neither male nor female). Vibrationally it connects us to the creative energy of all the universe. And that energy is within us—as Jesus tells us it is elsewhere in his teachings - existing in us as divine potential.
”Hallowed be thy name”
The vibrational energy of the name for God is sacred. It vibrates within us in the “sacred place of the most high.” We “hallow” that name by allowing its vibration to define our very being—and by seeing ourselves as temples of God 's energy.
“Thy kingdom come”
In Aramaic this phrase is “teytey malkuthakh.” Teytey describes a bridal chamber, site of union and fertility. Malkuthakh comes from an ancient name for Divine Mother; it refers to a womb. The overall image in Aramaic is that we nurture and give birth to the kingdom of God within us.
“Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.”
God perfectly expresses in that sacred womb within me. With this affirmation I choose to let the inner possibility and the outer manifestation be the same. In Aramaic the word translated as “will” more accurately means “heart's desire.” Again we are agreeing to - and taking responsibility for—a creative, intimate union with God.
“Give us this day our daily bread.”
This is the first actual prayer request in the prayer—we here shift our focus from God to self. It completes a kind of contract: I will birth your heaven and you will see to my needs. “Lachma” in Aramaic is both “bread” and “understanding.”
“And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.”
The Aramaic word means “failures,” “mistakes,” as well as “secret debts.” The tense is important: we must have forgiven others before we can claim our own forgiveness.
“And leave us not in temptation, but deliver us from evil.”
I think this is the clearest rendering of a line that doesn't really make sense in the traditional English translation (“lead us not into temptation”). It is absurd to think that God might lead us into temptation. The Aramaic phrase is rather “don't let us remain in” temptation. And the word for temptation means “unripeness.”
“For thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever.”
This, of course, may not be original—it isn't in earliest translations—but it does follow accepted Jewish form in closing a prayer. The Aramaic might more accurately be translated as “Through you the kingdom, through you the energy of life, through you the harmony of all things.”
This only touches lightly on the metaphysical depths suggested by this deceptively familiar prayer. I would suggest Prayer of the Cosmos by Neal Douglas Klotz—and perhaps, immodestly, my own book The Secret According to Jesus—if you want to delve a little deeper.