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Weekly Essay
(from my archives of previously published newspaper columns)

  Someone gave me this interpretation of the Lord’s Prayer.  I thought I’d pass it on to you.

Can I Say the Lord’s Prayer?

  I cannot say “Our” if I live in a watertight spiritual compartment; if I think a special place in heaven is reserved for my denomination.

  I cannot say “Father” if I do not demonstrate the relationship in my daily life.

  I cannot say “Which art in heaven” if I am so occupied with earth that I am not laying up treasure there.

  I cannot say “Hallowed be thy name” if I, who am called by His name, am not holy.

  I cannot say “Thy will be done” if I am questioning, resentful, or disobedient to His will for me.

  I cannot say “Give us this day our daily bread” if I am living on past experiences.

  I cannot say “Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors” if I harbor a grudge against anyone.

  I cannot say “Lead us not into temptation” if I deliberately place myself or remain in a position where I am likely to be tempted.

  I cannot say “Deliver us from evil” if I am not prepared to fight it in the spiritual realm with the weapon of prayer.

  I cannot say “Thine is the kingdom” if I don’t give the King the disciplined obedience of a loyal subject.

  I cannot say “Thine is the glory” if I am seeking glory for myself.nnot say “Forever” if my horizons are bound by things of time.

  I cannot say “Amen” if I do not also add, “Cost what it may,” for to say this prayer honestly will cost everything.

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