Re-thinking the old words to bring new meaning

Tim Lenton, 27th Jun 2016 3 comments

A church in Norfolk has re-written some of it’s services to express a more reflective approach to spirituality appropriate for the 21st century: Tim Lenton shares his  re-drafting of the Lord’s Prayer, taken from an ancient source, but movingly modern.

During a kind of retreat on Lindisfarne a few years ago, I came across a book by Neil Douglas-Klotz called Prayers of the Cosmos, which consists largely of  extensive meditation on the Lord’s Prayer, using the original Aramaic of Jesus. I found the ideas in it so inspiring that I wrote a new version of the Lord’s Prayer based on it. Although the actual form of words here is mine, it depends very heavily on the ideas and words of Mr Douglas-Klotz, without whom it would not exist.

The Father’s song

Our Father, who is throughout the universe,
let your name be set apart and holy.
Through your kingdom and counsel,
let your desire and delight be,
as in the universe, also upon the earth.
Give us this day bread for our necessities
and food for our understanding,
and free us from our offences,
as we have freed our offenders.
And do not let us enter our temptation,
or make do with wordliness,
but set us free from error and immaturity.
For the kingdom,
The power
and the song belong to you
from ages to ages,
Sealed in faithfulness.

Tim Lenton

Tim Lenton is a journalist and poet based in Norfolk. You can follow him on




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  • Rich Lewis, 28th Jun 2016

    Give us this day bread for our necessities and food for our understanding,

    I love this re wording! Each day I can come to God and ask for my needs to
    be met both physically and mentally. I can ask God for
    wisdom/understanding for today’s tasks. Every day I need to partner with
    God. We both need each other for the work that needs to get done. I am
    God’s mind, eyes, ears, hands and feet in motion.

  • Daisy Macdonald, 30th Jun 2016

    I love this. It so simply makes the Lord’s prayer relevant for today.
    It’s cut through all the medieval mindset of the traditional words,
    with their connotations of the blanket wickedness of mankind etc,
    and makes so much sense. Makes it personal, immediate and reflective.
    I particularly like:

    “Do not let us enter our temptation”
    “set us free from error and immaturity”
    and I loved
    “the song belongs to you”.

    Somehow this whole translation treats humankind with dignity and
    respect, and gives a sense, not of a judgemental God needing our
    perfection, but of a God who enters our life with a helping hand,
    and with a song. That’s joyful.

  • Tim Lenton, 30th Jun 2016

    Great to get a positive response to this prayer.