Sunday, September 22, 2013


Our Lord Jesus Christ taught us this prayer.
      We are not certain, but we have not seen or heard of Orthodox churches changing to the use of a correct translation of the Lord’s Prayer. The well known and often repeated Protestant version, that says "our daily bread" goes back to the reformers; and the Orthodox Church continues using their poor translations. Anyone that understands some Greek can see the missing and changed words. On the left is the standard version of the reformers, the same as used in the Orthodox Church. On the right side is the corrected text with proper translation as taught by Christ.

Our Father who art in heaven       Our Father who art in the heavens

Hallowed be they name                 Hallowed be thy name,

Thy kingdom come                        Thy kingdom come,

Thy will be done,                           Thy will be done

On earth as it is in heaven,             On earth as it is in heaven

Give us this day                              Give us this day

Our daily bread                               Our most essential bread

And forgive us our trespasses         And forgive us our debts.

As we forgive those who
trespass against us                           As we forgive our debtors,

And lead us not into
temptation                                       And lead us not into temptation,

But deliver us from evil                  But deliver us from the evil one

"For yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory of the Father Son and Holy Spirit, now and forever and unto the ages of ages, Amen."

      God is everywhere present and fills all things, he is outside of everything and within everything, He is on earth and in the heavens, and there are three levels of heaven, the spiritual abode of the Angels and Archangels and all the heavenly powers. In the highest and third heaven is His Throne. The word mistranslated "heaven" is plural in the original text. Hence we pray to "Our Father who art in the heavens."

     We should bear in mind that this prayer is about spiritual bread, the bread which came down from heaven, and that it is addressed to Our heavenly Father. It is used in the Divine Liturgy after the bread and wine have been transformed, and Christ himself is on the altar ready to offer himself as food to the faithful. It is preceded by the "Axion esti" or "It is worthy" honoring the Theotokos, who is not only above the entire human race, but also more glorious than the Cherubim and Seraphim and Thrones! Following this, we proceed to the Lord’s Prayer, as the celebrating Priest leads us with these powerful words: "Make us worthy, Master, that we may boldly and without condemnation dare to call upon you, the heavenly God as Father, and to say:" "Our Father who art in the heavens . . ."

      If we fail to worship the Son, our Lord Jesus Christ as the Godman, we will not be able to boldly call upon the Father without condemnation. If we fail to keep all the commandments of Christ, the Father will not welcome us. To cry out: "Our Father, is both fearful and wonderful, for He is the eternal source of the Son and Holy Spirit, who are one in nature and one in essence. He is our Creator, the source of our existence, and our life. He gives us breath, and keeps us alive, providing the air. He set our hearts beating, our blood circulating, with lungs to re-invigorate our blood.
      Our greatest gift is our mind, our hearts, and our free will, through which we can know the only true God and Jesus Christ whom He has sent, and our hearts enabling us to offer thanks to Him and to love Him, the source of every good gift. When we cry: "Our Father", we must reflect on who we are talking to and not just call from habit. However, our cry will not be accepted unless it comes from the depths of our innermost being, for we are appealing to the Father, to deem us to be worthy to approach the King of all and to communicate of His Body and Blood, a fearful and wonderful thing.
      The Lord’s Prayer is frequently repeated, but its place in the Divine Liturgy is very special, for it speaks of the Mysteries saying: give us this day our bread beyond essence, being the final prayer before receiving the Holy Mysteries.
      The translation, "Give us this day our daily", is not what Christ meant for in the Lord’s prayer, we are not praying for the bread that sustains our physical life, but that divine bread which enlivens and feeds our souls, being the true Bread which came down from heaven. The original Greek says "ton arton ee-mon, ton epi-oosion). Arton means leavened bread not azymes as used by the Latins. The word "epi-oosion" means "beyond essence", which pertains to the Body and Blood of Christ which does not remain bread and wine and water. It is better translated: "Give us this day our bread beyond essence." We do not try to explain the unexplainable and define how this change takes place, for we know for certain that the gifts do not remain bread and wine, but become the Body and Blood of Christ our God.

     "Forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors", is a better translation of this verse. Our life and existence, our body which serves us, our soul which has been elevated far above the animals by the spirit which God breathed into it, our possessions, our families, all are gifts from God. He has given us so much, yet we do not show Him our gratitude and we turn against Him and sin! Therefore we are deeply indebted to the Lord. When we confess our sins and receive forgiveness of our debts, we must also forgive those who are indebted to us.

     "But deliver us from the evil one", which refers to the Devil or Satan, who is our enemy and the enemy of our God, and we have a duty toward God. We fight against the evil one with faith in Christ and must avoid cowardliness. When the Devil uses people to harass or punish us, but to bravely face those who persecute or seek to kill us for Christ’s sake. Always, remembering the shortness of our lives, we should, not only cry out to Our Father, but live each day as if it were our last day. This will strengthen us to confess Christ before men and not to betray Him as did Judas.
 The doxology follows and concludes the prayer:
"For yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory of the Father Son and Holy Spirit, now and forever and unto the ages of ages, Amen."
     We seek from You, all these things of your goodness, Lord, because you are able to grant whatever we need and save us from the hands of our enemy, the Devil, because you have the kingdom and the power and the glory for ever. The Devil can do nothing to us without your permission, because you do not let the enemy tempt us beyond our ability to resist, but you grant us the means to endure temptation.          
We recite these words, but if we do this in thoughtlessness, without keen attention, we will hear the letter but not experience the spirit of the prayer. If we partake of the Body and Blood of Christ, and neglect to work for advancement of His kingdom, not only will it not do us any good, but could result in our judgment. Day by day our lives should be changing for the better, struggling to abandon every evil and acquire every good. For if we just "go to receive holy Communion," without proper preparation of prayer and fasting, and without struggling to improve our moral standing before God, this places us in extremely grave danger as St. Paul warns: "For whoever eats this bread and drinks this cup unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup. For he who eats and drinks unworthily, eats and drinks judgment to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body. For this reason many of you have become sickly and some have died" (1 Cor. 11:27-30).
Partaking is serious and delightful, for it is the return to Paradise for Christ is Paradise! The body and blood of Christ cleanses and sanctifies us, for He dwells in us together with the Father and the Spirit, providing we partake worthily, with fear of God faith and love. Partaking, we should never forget what we have received from the Lord. We ought to remember all the suffering and agony that He chose to suffer, in order to make our partaking possible, for in partaking of the holy Mystery, we are promise everlasint life in His Kingdom. Not judging others but accusing ourselves, we remember the nails we drive into His hands and feet with each of our sins. Condemning ourselves without losing hope for our many transgressions, we can approach properly. We must approach with sincere love and reverence, for "The body of God deifies and nourishes. It deifies the spirit and wondrously nourishes the mind." (Communion Prayer)


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