Years ago, I wrote a prayer of confession for the first Sunday of Lent. Since the church where I was at the time had communion the first Sunday of each liturgical season rather than the first Sunday of each month, the service was going to run long if it had all the usual items, plus the prayer of confession and communion. So for that week, I added the prayer of confession and removed the prayer time and Lord’s Prayer. As soon as the service ended, someone told me that they were upset that I had replaced “the prayer GOD wrote” with a prayer “written by a human.”
Those who have been through Disciple Bible study know that the problem with that statement is that the prayer we call “The Lord’s Prayer” isn’t exactly what Jesus said when His disciples asked “teach us to pray.” The Lord’s Prayer, as Protestants pray it, is phrased in such a way that it is metrical in nature, rhythmic in sound, and based primarily on the King James translation. You see this when you look at different English translations of Matthew 6. Each one bids us to ask God to forgive us for something for which we also are to forgive others. But what the prayer in each of those translations asks God to forgive differs. In one it is “debts.” In another, it is “sins.” And in yet another, it is “trespasses” – as we pray it here at Christ UMC.