Almost every group of people who meet as a church use the prayer titled, “The Lord’s Prayer“. Some groups use it every worship. Some people even use it in their personal devotion time.

When I used to lead worship I liked using it. Almost everyone knows it. It moved prayer time from a passive listening to an active speaking.

But reading what Chris Downs in “Order in Chaos” has to say about it sent my mind miles further. Suddenly it came clearly that most church groups never get past the first word.


They really don’t mean “Our” in reference to all God’s children. Oh, yes, they mouth words and speak generously, but the action suggests an hypocrisy such as Jesus confronted during the earthly ministry.

Church groups limit who the “Our” refers to. Gays and lesbians don’t make the list for many. For some only those in a certain race belong. Evolutionists don’t feel welcome, or pentecostal types either, in certain denominations or congregations.

Maybe you have found a coldness, rejection, simple toleration instead of warm welcome. Find others, look hard for them, if necessary, who want to worship and grow with you. Maybe visit a different building. Maybe reject the building worshippers and find (or start) a home church.

Just because some group or other, claiming to worship Jesus, comes up way short, don’t sin the same sin. Find those who have a wide sense of “Our”.

When you pray, “Our”, visualize, feel, think, however you do it, all the children of God. Include the ones who hold a different belief in the details, but who serve Jesus. Include those who push your limits of faith and love and practice, especially because you need them.

God looks at the whole body of believers. While we say “Our” (meaning “My”) God responds “Mine” (meaning all believers).

“God’s purpose was that the body should not be divided but rather that all of its parts should feel the same concern for each other. If one part of the body suffers, all the other parts share its suffering. If one part is praised, all the others share in its happiness. You are Christ’s body and each of you is an individual part of it” (1 Corinthians 12:25-27 God’s Word).

Read all that Paul writes by the Spirit (Paraclete) on this in 1 Corinthians 12:4-31. And remember that what follows this  (1 Corinthians 13, “The Love Chapter”) challenges all who name Jesus to love truly, not just with empty words.

So, the prayer model Jesus gave tests the sincerity of the one using it from the first word. How far can you get if you pray the prayer as a soul commitment rather than a string of words?