Lake Country columnist Jim Taylor provides other options to the Lord’s Prayer. (Contributed)

Lake Country columnist Jim Taylor provides other options to the Lord’s Prayer. (Contributed)

Taylor: Three alternative prayers

Lake Country columnist provides other options to the Lord’s Prayer

In our Sunday morning services over Zoom, our minister includes about 30 seconds of silence, in which people can say the words of any prayer that’s most meaningful to them.

Many, I’m sure, repeat the traditional Lord’s Prayer: “Our Father, Which Art in Heaven…”

Some might remember the Latin words: “Pater noster, qui es in caelis…”

Some, possibly, turn to a creed.

I suspect many just fall silent, because they don’t know what to say, or to whom.

Why don’t we all just say the Lord’s Prayer?

Because a few people – I’m one of them – have genuine difficulties with the all-knowing all-seeing old-man-in-the-sky image I used to accept unthinkingly.

I have no hesitation about the word “father.”

If God could be like my dad, I’d be delighted.

But I have trouble with God as the hyper-engineer who keeps everything running, who fixes things we can’t fix for ourselves, who feeds us sliced bread, and steers us out of temptation. That’s more like a fairy godmother. Or Superman.

Rather, over the years, I’ve become convinced, beyond any doubt, that God is not out there, somewhere, but right here. Right now.

As the Corrymeela website puts it, “God is for, with, and within us.”

So for that 30 seconds of silence, I turn to some of my favourite prayers, which are about the right length to fit the silence.

In case you’re ever in that same situation, here are three of them.

The first is a paraphrase of the traditional Lord’s Prayer from Grace Cathedral in San Francisco, slightly modified:

Holy One, holy one-ness, in us and around us and beyond us,

Your wisdom come, your will be done, wherever you are found.

Give us each day sustenance and perseverance.

Remind us of our limits as we give grace to the limits of others.

Separate us from the temptations of power, and draw us into your community.

For you are the dwelling place within us,

the empowerment around us,

and the celebration among us, now and always. Amen.

The second comes from Father Richard Rohr, the Franciscan priest who founded the Center for Contemplation and Action in Texas:

O Great Love, thank you for living and loving in us and through us.

May all that we do flow from our deep connection with you and all beings.

Help us become a community that vulnerably shares each other’s burdens and each other’s joys.

Listen to our hearts’ longings for the healing of our world.

(Insert here any specific reference or concerns.)

Knowing you are hearing us better than we are speaking,

we offer these prayers in all the holy names of God, amen.

The third isn’t even a prayer, in any formal sense. It comes from a passage in Richard Wagamese’s book Embers:

I am the trees alive with singing.

I am the sky everywhere at once.

I am the snow and the wind bearing stories across geographies and generations.

I am light everywhere descending.

I am my heart evoking drum song.

I am my spirit rising.

I am my prayers and my meditation, and I am time fully captured in this now.

I am a traveller on a sacred journey through this one shining day.

Jim Taylor lives in Lake Country.

rewrite@shaw.ca

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A group of youth in Kelowna's Knox Mountain Park are suspected as having violated the B.C. Wildlife Act by harassing a pair of nesting bald eagles with a drone Friday, April 16, 2021. (Conservation Officer Service photo)
Nesting bald eagles harassed by youth-piloted drone in Kelowna

Conservation Officers are hoping to hear from anyone who witnessed the Knox Mountain incident

Nick Clements captured a photo of the Northern Lights over Oyama Friday night, April 16, 2021. (Nick Clements photo)
PHOTOS: Northern Lights colour Okanagan night

Residents saw the dazzling green aurora borealis throughout the valley Friday night

Vernon's spring leaf pickup program is underway. (File photo)
Vernon rakes up residents’ bagged leaves

Pickup this week, must be in clear plastic bags

Coldstream students took over the Your Letters page in the April 9, 2021, edition of the Vernon Morning Star to offer advice to adults about COVID-19. Interior Health took notice and offered their praise. (Vernon Morning Star)
Coldstream students’ COVID advice praised by Interior Health

Grade 2 and 3 classes from Coldstream Elementary took over the Morning Star’s Letters page April 9

Vernon Girl Guide Mabel Smith sells cookies to staff at Watkin Motors Ford prior to the suspension of sales. (Facebook Photo)
Vernon Ford dealership shines with diamond award, again

Watkin Motors earns Ford of Canada president’s award for superior customer service

Flow Academy is located at 1511 Sutherland Avenue in Kelowna. (Michael Rodriguez - Capital News)
Black Press Media Weekly Roundup: Top headlines this week

Here’s a quick roundup of the stories that made headlines across the Okanagan, from April 11 to 16

Vernon Jubilee Hospital. (File photo)
COVID-19 outbreak declared over in surgical unit of Vernon hospital

The outbreak affected four staff, 10 patients and led to three deaths in just over two weeks

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Pall Bearers carrying the coffin of the Duke of Edinburgh, followed by the Prince of Wales, left and Princess Anne, right, into St George’s Chapel for his funeral, at Windsor Castle, in Windsor, England, Saturday April 17, 2021. (Danny Lawson/Pool via AP)
Trudeau announces $200K donation to Duke of Edinburgh award as Prince Philip laid to rest

A tribute to the late prince’s ‘remarkable life and his selfless service,’ the Prime Minister said Saturday

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

B.C. homeowners are being urged to take steps to prepare for the possibility of a flood by moving equipment and other assets to higher ground. (J.R. Rardon)
‘Entire province faces risk’: B.C. citizens urged to prepare for above-average spring flooding

Larger-than-normal melting snowpack poses a threat to the province as warmer weather touches down

Vancouver-based Doubleview Gold Corp. is developing claims in an area north of Telegraph Creek that occupies an important place in Tahltan oral histories, said Chad Norman Day, president of the Tahltan Central Government. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO)
B.C. Indigenous nation opposes mineral exploration in culturally sensitive area

There’s “no way” the Tahltan would ever support a mine there, says Chad Norman Day, president of its central government

Stz’uminus Elder George Harris, Ladysmith Mayor Aaron Stone, and Stz’uminus Chief Roxanne Harris opened the ceremony. (Cole Schisler photo)
Symbolic red dresses rehung along B.C. highway after vandals tore them down

Leaders from Stz’uminus First Nation and the Town of Ladysmith hung new dresses on Sat. April 17

A Western toadlet crosses the centre line of Elk View Road in Chilliwack on Aug. 26, 2010. A tunnel underneath the road has since been installed to help them migrate cross the road. Saturday, April 24 is Save the Frogs Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Progress File)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of April 18 to 24

Save the Frogs Day, Love Your Thighs Day and Scream Day are all coming up this week

Most Read