Thursday, 16 June 2016

Our Father ...

"Our Father who art in heaven....."

“Yes. How can I help you?”

”Hein? Who’s that?”

“You called me. I’m listening …”

”I didn’t call anybody … I was just praying … The Lord’s Prayer! Our Father who art in Heaven …”

“That’s me … Your Father in Heaven … now carry on praying …”

“Eh … Hallowed be Thy name …”

“Ha … Do you remember when you were very young you used to say ‘Harold be Thy name’? For a long time you were convinced my name is Harold; until someone put you right. What does it mean anyway … Hallowed be Thy name?”

“Eh … hmmm … does it mean you are Holy?”

“That’s right … carry on …”

“Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven.”

“Hold it just there … Do you really mean what you just said?”

“Sure, of course I do …”

“Or do you mean ‘Thy will be done’ as long as it is what you want? Do you really accept my will all the time? Even when it’s not convenient for you, or when life gets a little difficult?”

“Well … sometimes when things get really bad I get very worried …”

“At least you’re honest. Remember this always; when things are really bad for you it is still my will. I allow it to happen but I never abandon you. I’m always close to you … all you have to do is trust me.”

“Gee … thanks.”

“Carry on …”

“Give us this day our daily bread …”

“Let’s stop again … This means that I will provide for all your needs. It’s good of you to ask; but rest assured that I will always provide you with what you need. Go on with your prayer …”

“Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us …”

“Even your neighbour?”


“You never forgave your neighbour after that argument you had a few days ago … In fact you still hope that you’ll get even some day …”

“But … but … You know it was his fault!”

“Of course it was … and he did apologise. But unless you truly forgive him, you truly no longer hold a grudge and have no ill-will or ill-feelings towards him; it doesn’t count does it?”

“That’s not always easy …”

“I agree … But true forgiveness means that you no longer wish any retribution or revenge against those who have hurt you. Sure … you’ll always remember the wrong done to you, but let that be a reminder to forgive them once again and to pray for them.”

“Can I go on now?”

“Yes …”

“And lead us not into temptation. But deliver us from evil.”

“This bit is a reminder that Satan is always there trying to take you away from me. He tried to tempt my only Son Jesus, so you’re not going to be much of a challenge to him. Whenever he tries to lead you astray repeat those words over and again and I will come to your help.”

“Thank you …”

“It’s getting late … go to sleep now!”


  1. I REALLY appreciated the part about forgiveness. I am having a most difficult time with a situation right now, and it seems that I feel I have forgiven, then it comes back up. It helped me to read your words, "let that be a reminder to forgive them once again and to pray for them". I can't forget the hurt inflicted...I have tried. And, that must be okay? And, even though I have truly forgiven today, I may have to re-forgive again tomorrow, right? I never thought of it this way...I have been beating myself up feeling that I haven't truly forgiven, but then I am now looking at the passage where Jesus said to forgive 7x70 times a bit differently. Do you think He could have meant we may have to forgive the same, exact offense more than one time? I love the way you make me think, Victor. God bless you.

    1. Hi Cheryl,

      To truly forgive someone means that we no longer hold anything against them. No malice, no need for revenge, retribution, punishment or ill-feeling. This is true whether or not the other person has asked for forgiveness. Often, people hurt us and then move on without asking for forgiveness, or perhaps caring for what they have done. Our forgiveness should be from the heart whether asked for or not.

      Of course, the hurt done to us will never be forgotten. It is natural. It is part of our history and it is imprinted in our memory. Christ never said forgive and forget. He said forgive, time and again. Forgive whether the person hurts you again; and forgive if and when the memory of the hurt re-occurs in your mind.

      When we remember the hurt done to us, and perhaps we feel angry or upset once again; it does not mean that we haven't forgiven. Of course we have, if our forgiveness meets the conditions mentioned above. The memory is triggered by events and we remember once again. Let that be an opportunity to hand that person over to God once more. Let us say "God, I'm sorry I feel hurt once more, please help me deal with my feelings and bless that person." Can you imagine how powerful that prayer is? You are asking God to bless the one who hurt you.

      Christ did not mean 70X7 literally. He meant as often as is needed. When He looks at the scars in His hands, feet and side, He remembers, and forgives once more.

      God bless you.

    2. Victor, your reply brought me to tears. Thank you! On this part, "No malice, no need for revenge, retribution, punishment or ill-feeling."...I can honestly say that I meet those requirements. Just this morning in my prayer time, I, from the bottom of my heart, asked God to bless the person who hurt me so deeply. I want no revenge. I want ONLY the best of things to come to them. Truly. I hurt deep inside when I think of them. This is someone who has inflicted hurt time after time after time throughout life, and yet, blames everyone else for their problems, never feeling they do anything at all wrong. But, I love this person, in spite of all, and I want only good for them. I mean that. But, the part that concerns me is the part where you said, "that we no longer hold anything against them". I am not sure whether I do this or not. I know this must sound absurd, but I am just afraid I must still hold it against her because, even though she has hurt me so many times through the years, there is one particular thing that comes back to my mind time after was so deplorable and such a deep wound. I am concerned that I truly must not have forgiven this, and it is so amazing that you wrote this today, because for some reason, today, I have struggled terribly with it all. It is never a feeling of wanting to lash back or hurt this person or see revenge come to her...nothing like that. But, I fear that I am holding it deep in my heart against her. It is such a long, sordid story, and there is so much to it, but anyhow, you have helped me tremendously, and I will continue to ponder your sound words of advice. You are such a blessing.

    3. Cheryl, sometimes our human nature does hold something against the person who hurt us. It is natural.

      Someone hurt me badly, very badly, years ago. To the point that it affected my life, and that of others, and also it still affects my life today. It is easy to say that we should forgive and move on. But in reality, when I see my life every day and how it was affected by that person I do hold it against them. I resent the fact that their actions affected me. But I try to forgive.

      Do you see the difference? You say you hold it against that person who hurt you. This is understandable. That person has wronged you and it hurts, even now. The "holding against" (which is natural reaction) should be an incentive to forgive again and not to want retribution or revenge. In this respect, the "holding against" feeling is a positive feeling as long as it encourages you to forgive and as best as possible to let go of the other person. Hand them to God, as I mentioned earlier.

      The hurt will continue, I promise you. The greater the hurt the longer it will take to forget it; if that is ever possible. The "holding it against them" and the resentment of what they did will also always be there. As it is for me. It's how we respond to this feeling of resentment that counts. Does it make us act positively and forgive again; or negatively and wishing ill for that person who hurt us?

      Please write to me if you wish to discuss this off-line.

      God bless.

  2. Yes, God certainly does talk to us as we talk with Him. Too bad we're in such a big rush that we don't stick around long enough to hear His still, small voice ...

    1. We often repeat our prayers like parrots. Without even thinking of what we're saying. This is not praying; it is going through the motions.

      There are no parrots in Heaven.

      God bless you Linda.

  3. Listening--I am always listening!
    Good One, Victor!

    1. Depends who we're listening to. There's someone who, when he phones me, he goes on and on and on. I sit on the armchair by the fire, whisky in hand, and every so often say "Yes ... really ... I see ..."

      The other day I dreamt I was in the armchair saying "Yes ... really ..." Then I woke up and found that I was.

      God bless.

  4. I love the Our Father, and I pray it daily. But I have to say I've always pondered over one line, and you kind of skipped explaining that line: "And lead us not into temptation." Does God lead us into temptation? Why that line?

    1. Good point Manny. I don't think God would lead us into temptation. In Matthew 6:9-13 it says "Do not bring us to hard testing,but keep us safe from the Evil One". In Luke 11:2-4 it also says "do not bring us to hard testing".

      What this means, I think, is that the devil will always test and tempt us; as indeed he did to Jesus. So Jesus in His prayer is saying "let us not be tested by the devil beyond our capabilities".

      Compare also St Paul’s letter to the Corinthians. “Every test that you have experienced is the kind that normally comes to people. But God keeps his promise, and He will not allow you to be tested beyond your power to remain firm; at the time you are put to the test, He will give you the strength to endure it, and so provide you with a way out”. (1 Corinthians Chapter 10 Verse 13).

      God bless.

    2. Right, I agree. So what's the significance of that line in the Our father?

    3. The significance is that Jesus (in His prayer) is warning us that the devil will always be there to tempt us. The devil tempted Jesus, so we should not be much of a challenge. The line in the Bible version of the prayer is "do not bring us to hard testing" (by the devil). Meaning, do not let us succumb/surrender to his temptations. Christ knows that we are weak, so He is teaching us to pray to God to help us and strengthen us when the devil tempts us and tries to take us away from God. Over the years, the line got changed (in translation) to "and lead us not into temptation." It doesn't mean that God tempts us. It means "protect" us from temptation.

      I hope this helps, Manny.

      God bless you and yours.



God bless you.

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