With the start of Lent, it feels really good so spend time in the Bible, and I can’t think of a better place to enter the season of Lent than with this next prompt from Writing in the Margins:
Matthew 6:9-13 provides the prayer that Jesus taught us. Here, Jesus teaches us to pray, “Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” Consider Veling’s phrase that margins provide “millions of moments of encounter.” Write in your margin prayers for heaven meeting earth, and earth meeting heaven.
Is there a more perfect prayer than the Lord’s prayer? I’m kind of freaking out at the moment because as familiar as this prayer is to me, I just made a seriously cool discovery. Now that I see it, I can’t unsee it. And I can’t stop saying the Lord’s prayer! (I want to talk to my yoga instructor now! And I apologize in advance for being the world’s most eclectic, mixed-up Presbyterian!!!)
A little bit of back story will help: A Facebook friend inspired me to learn more about chakras, seven centers of spiritual power (in Indian thought). My friend suggested that everyone has a chakra that governs their life. She asked me which chakra I felt most in tune with. Without knowing much about the subject, my first thought was the heart charkra. If I could trade all my powers for just one thing, it would be to have the power to let the people in my life know that they are totally and completely loved unconditionally. And it really was an ah-ha moment for me to say to myself: “if I could just trust that others would feel unconditional love from me, I might be more willing to explore other powers”—like I might be able to respectfully say what’s on my mind, which is something that is ridiculously hard for me.
A recent situation in my life brought to mind just how hard it is for me to speak up about minor problems—when I finally do, it just never goes well. I dropped my daughter off at her preschool, which is at my church, and went into the sanctuary to pray about the problem. I was just sort of crying, really. The man who cleans our church walked into sanctuary to start cleaning and was very apologetic upon finding me there. He said, “Let me turn the window light on for you, then I’ll leave and give you time to pray. It’s a good place to pray.” At the front of our church is a big stained glass window with a picture of Jesus. He is standing in a mountain pose with his hands at his side facing out, and there is a crown floating above his head. With the light out, I couldn’t see the image. Once the power was on, I could see Jesus clearly. It was just one of those moments. The message seemed to be: “Keep your power on!” So putting together the problem I had in life, the Facebook conversation, and my prayer-time, I signed up for a home study course about chakras. And now I can’t read the Lord’s Prayer in the same way again. Oh well. Life is kind of random like that for me. (I probably should resist writing about this until I finish the course on chakras–seriously I’ve just barely begun–but this is where my thoughts took me today!)
So I returned to Writing in the Margins with a tiny bit of chakra knowledge in my head and here’s the cool thing that came into focus for me a little bit as I revisited the Lord’s prayer: The Lord’s prayer follows the order of the Chakras pretty closely:
Our Father: The crown chakra connects us with God.
Who Art in Heaven: The intuitive chakra helps us to know without seeing.
Hollowed by your name: The throat chakra relates to how we speak God’s name. As we pray, we can be reminded to speak all words with respect.
Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven: This is the heart of the Lord’s prayer, and also the heart of what Jesus teaches are the great commandments: “To Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and you shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Heart chakra!
Give us this day our daily bread: These words speak to the personal power that we have to meet our needs and suggest a reasonable approach to personal power–leaving space for the power of God.
And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors: It’s through forgiveness that we are able to stay in communion with one another and with God. (In the Christian faith, spiritual union is more a more comfortable topic than physical union.) Forgiveness means, even though something happened between friends, they can still reconnect!
And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil: A strong root chakra helps us stay grounded, safe, and on the right path in life.
The way the Lord’s prayer flows and is ordered has always been something that puzzled me. Maybe I have my wires crossed, but I thought this was an interesting solution to that puzzle. And I’ve always wondered why Jesus didn’t include words of gratitude in the prayer–increasingly I see this prayer as a gift to us for our own spiritual well-being! To memorialize the moment, I wrote a rainbow-colored version of the Lord’s Prayer in the margins of my Bible. I also wrote a quote that came to mind when I first read the Writing in the Margins prompt about the meeting of heaven and earth. It’s really one of my favorite spiritual quotes:
Far away on the horizon heaven seems to meet the earth. Do not forget where heaven and earth really meet is in the heart of a child of God.-St. Joesmaria
I am feeling so grateful right now that the Lord’s prayer has always been part of my life. I am realizing what an amazing support it has been to me.