Are we really better off, Lord?
I mean, we have more than we can possibly need,
but we want more, and our consumption destroys your world.
And while we consume, a million babies die on a dollar a day.
Consumption is all, it seems.
We’re never satisfied;
and envy poisons our souls so that we consume each other:
the doctor who tries to heal us,
the police officer who protects us,
the employer, the banker, the politician, the celebrity, the worker . . . our neighbour.
We clothe ourselves so easily with the victim’s apparel,
the better to consume with pure hearts,
while the real victims wear the mantle of invisibility.
And still we’re not satisfied, so we fight:
we fight for land, we fight for supremacy, we fight for ideologies;
we fight to ignore the refugee
in case she comes with her children and consumes what we think is ours.
What we can’t consume we seek to control.
That which might serve to curb our rapacity is pushed aside.
Where once we would seek to protect the innocent in public places;
now from cinema to TV we consume our violence, sex and foul speech,
allowing our children to emulate us,
whilst your prayer is ridiculed, discarded or banned.
which speaks of your holiness;
of your blessed kingdom of love, justice and peace;
of our need of your protection – if only from ourselves.
But then, you can’t consume a prayer, can you?
And there is a danger that it may make us think twice;
think about you;
so its best to ban it in public, in case it causes offence.
But let your prayer remind us of who we are,
and of who we might be.
Let it be a doorway into your realm.
Let it be a song of praise from Earth to Heaven.
Let it be a comfort when days are dark.
Let it speak volumes when all our words fail us.
Let it be a gift to remind us that all our consumption
will never satisfy our spiritual hunger or thirst:
Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins
as we forgive those who sin against us.
Lead us not into temptation
but deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power,
and the glory are yours
now and for ever.