Introduction to the Lord's Prayer, Jack McClarty

The Lord’s Prayer

When Erin was kind enough to ask me if I would lead the Lord’s Prayer at Pat’s service my first reaction was to immediately answer yes – a simple answer to a simple question. But to an engineer there may be simple questions but there are rarely, if ever, simple answers. Pat would have understood this because in many ways he was more of an engineer than I.

You have all heard the saying “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” To most people it simply means that if it works, leave it alone. To an engineer, however, it means that he has not made enough improvements yet. It is the nature of engineers to do extensive trade off studies before making the simplest of decisions, and to look constantly for better ways of doing things.

So, instead of a simple yes answer I immediately began to worry about what version of The Lord’s Prayer I should use because I know of at least three versions and there are probably more. If you are in a regular church service, this is not a concern because you simply say it the way it is said in that church. However, in a multi-denominational gathering such as this just what is the correct version to use?

I started to do my trade off studies by going to the bible. The Lord’s Prayer in the King James Bible is different from that in the St. Joseph Bible. Within each bible the Lord’s Prayer as given by Matthew is different from that given by Luke. More confusion.

I next went to the Internet. I went to Google, typed in The Lord’s Prayer and got 346,000 references, all of which had something to say about the Lord’s Prayer. There is even a web site at www.TheLord’sPrayer.com and another web site that has a movie of the Lord’s Prayer. I started reading these references and never got past the first ten, but I did indeed find additional versions to the three I know.

As the saying goes, I learned more about the Lord’s Prayer than I ever wanted to know, and pity the poor person who ever asks me if I know the Lord’s Prayer. They won’t get a simple answer.

After agonizing over all of this I finally decided there is no single correct version and to say it the way I was taught as a boy growing up in a Catholic home. Everyone else can say it as they prefer. We may sound like the Tower of Babel at times but Pat will know our hearts are in the right place and our intensions are good.

Let us pray. In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, Amen. Our Father, who art in heaven…