Praying the Lord’s Prayer with the Oppressed

Praying the Lord’s Prayer with the Oppressed

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(Versión en español aquí.)

How should we face the electoral processes in the USA and other parts of the world where the plight of the most vulnerable, immigrants and refugees is ignored? How do we respond to the horrific news that yet another woman (among countless others around the world) was kidnapped, drugged, brutally raped and sodomized, and murdered? How do we respond to systemic and common-sense racism? How do we stand in solidarity with Native Americans in Dakota or indigenous communities in Chiapas or elsewhere? At times it has become difficult to write, even talk. But the questions remain, how are we going to respond to face these realities? These questions are like rocks in our shoes. And silence is not an option.

At Theodrama we know (with the wisdom of the church) that we need to respond by acting: praying and testifying. And we know that for many this may sound cliché. Because more often than not, we have to admit, we have used prayer as an easy and non-costly way to “respond” to someone else’s pain. It has been used as a pat on the back that make us feel that we have fulfilled our Christian duty. But we understand prayer as an act of rebellion against the status quo. David F. Wells states,

What, then, is the nature of petitionary prayer? It is, in essence, rebellion—rebellion against the world in its fallenness, the absolute, and undying refusal, to accept as normal, what is pervasively abnormal […] To come to an acceptance of life “as it is,” to accept it on its own terms—which means acknowledging the inevitability of the way it works—is to surrender a Christian view of God. This resignation to what is abnormal, has within it the hidden and unrecognized assumption, that the power of God to change the world, to overcome Evil by Good, will not be actualized.

Today we start a new series titled Praying the Lord’s Prayer with the Oppressed. We will pray each week, echoing Guatemalan Julia Esquivel’s prayer The Lord’s Prayer from Guatemala. Would you join us as we cry out to God?

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