Our Father who art in heaven please art on earth because that's where I am and we are and while we're thankful you're there we need you here, so please be near to us, as near as our breath, as close as our names. Speaking of names, hallowed be thy name and if we're all your children, your namesakes, as I believe we are, then I guess our names are hallowed too. Let us not take yours or ours in vain.
Your kingdom come, your will be done immediately conjures the childhood hymn "The King is Coming"...I've not sung that in a month of Sundays. Our Father, grant us ears to hear chariots rumble and eyes to see throngs march on earth as it is in heaven because that's where our hallowed, crippled, broken, ruined lives are. Spell the end of sin and wrong. Gabriel's horn is fine, but our prayer is for the fury of your trumpet.
Give us this day our daily bread for yesterday's bread is stale and tomorrow's has not risen. Give us bread, nourishment, sustenance, in all its forms for Friday, May 21st, in the year of our lord, 2010. You taught us to pray give us, not feed us, so help us remember our role this day, this Friday, to take and eat and take and drink...to get out of the nursery and grow up.
Forgive us our trespasses, those times, those moments we ignore the sign, cross the line, cut the fence. Prone to wander, Lord we feel it in our hallowed bones. Forgive us this day here on earth as we return the favor, the grace, and forgive those who trespass against us in all of the tenses - those who have, those who are, and those who will. Knead courage in our daily bread, Father, for this bone of the prayer chokes.
Lead us not into temptation in all of its lesser forms but also quite possibly its greatest - the urge to withhold forgiveness this Friday from those who trespass against us, the hot in our bones to nurse a grudge to life, the smug thrill of our kingdoms possibly coming, not yours. But deliver us from evil, for as Stafford wrote "the darkness around us is deep" and we are often children playing with the straw of a broom while the handle knocks hallowed treasures off the shelf behind us. We know not what we do, then sometimes we do know and do it anyway. Deliver us from evil and sometimes from ourselves.
There's also that temptation to hurry these final lines, close our books and rush for the door for we weary of instruction, but the last few are as vital as the first, so slow us, keep us in our desks, drag our feet through For thine is the kingdom which assumes you are the king, the good king, the hallowed regent, not a man, but the god...it also assumes we do not pray this day for a democracy. And the power and the glory evoke remembrances of Camelot or Greene's best novel, both reminders of what is and the best that can be and so to that end we pray to you our Father on this Friday for what is and what can be, not just for today but forever...Amen.