Do you pray? Whether it’s intercessory prayer or a prayer of gratitude, many of us do speak to the Divine at one time or another. Some of us learned formal prayers of a religion in childhood. I did, too, memorizing the Hail Mary and the Lord’s Prayer, among others. And in times of trouble, the hard-for-me-to-remember words to Hail! Holy Queen. have come to me without problem. Yes, for some of us, prayer is automatic.
Years ago I came across Marianne Williamson’s Illuminata, a book of contemporary prayers she wrote. I loved them all. Here’s a beautiful morning prayer, from her book, Illuminata.
I give this day to You.
May my mind stay centered on the things of spirit.
May I not be tempted to stray from love.
As I begin this day, I open to receive You.
Please enter where You already abide.
May my mind and heart be pure and true, and may I not deviate from the things of goodness.
May I see the love and innocence in all mankind, behind the masks we all wear and the illusions of this worldly plane.
I surrender to You my doings this day.
I ask only that they serve You and the healing of the world.
May I bring Your love and goodness with me, to give unto others wherever I go.
Make me the person You would have me be.
Direct my footsteps, and show me what You would have me do.
Make the world a safer, more beautiful place.
Bless all Your creatures.
Heal us all, and use me, dear Lord, that I might know the joy of being used by You.
Marianne Williamson’s prayers remind us to love not only the Divine but ourselves and the world.
I love Marianne’s prayers. But still, the ones that have stuck with me are the ones I learned as a kid. The traditional ones. The ones that have come down through the ages.
Or have they?
Let me cut right to the chase. The problem I have with the Bible is that it’s been translated and re-translated until it’s true meaning has been lost to the ages. So Biblical literalists are really not following the Bible as it was written. In Aramaic. Who knows what was really intended? Scholars have written much on this subject, but it’s not the topic of this post. The topic for today is the Lord’s Prayer.
I was surprised to learn that the Lord’s Prayer is not exactly as we know it. At least not originally. There is an “earliest and probably original” version of the Lord’s prayer, translated directly from the original Aramaic –not the usual translation, which is Greek to Latin to English. This is the “earliest version:”
O cosmic Birther, from whom the breath of life comes
who fills all realms of sound, light and vibration.
May your light be experienced in my utmost holiest.
Your Heavenly Domain approaches.
Let Your will come true in the universe (all that vibrates) just as on earth (that is material and dense).
give us wisdom (understanding, assistance) for our daily need,
detach the fetters of faults that bind us, (karma) like we let go the guilt of others.
Let us not be lost in superficial things (materialism, common temptations)
but let us be freed from what keeps us from our true purpose.
From You comes the all-working will, the lively strength to act, the song that beautifies all and renews itself from age to age.
Sealed in trust, faith and truth (I confirm with my entire being) Amen.
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But then, I found this one, that also purports to be a direct translation.
O Cosmic Birther of all radiance and vibration!
Soften the ground of our being and carve out a space within us where your Presence can abide.
Fill us with your creativity so that we may be empowered to bear the fruit of your mission.
Let each of our actions bear fruit in accordance with our desire.
Endow us with the wisdom to produce and share what each being needs to grow and flourish.
Untie the tangled threads of destiny that bind us, as we release others from the entanglement of past mistakes.
Do not let us be seduced by that which would divert us from our true purpose, but illuminate the opportunities of the present moment.
For you are the ground and the fruitful vision,the birth, power and fulfillment, as all is gathered and made whole once again.
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So what are we to conclude from all this? Well, I believe all translations are subjective and not necessarily verbatim. What’s important is to pray, however we do it.
I love these original versions much better than our usual ones and will be using them. Both. And trying to remember to begin each day with Marianne’s Morning Prayer.
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What do YOU think? Have you a favorite prayer?