Lord's prayer gets rewrite
A new prayer compilation that rewrites some of the best known prayers and psalms in the Bible to address issues such as fair trade and developing world debt is to be published by the Church of England.
The new book offers a radical reworking of the Lord's Prayer and Psalm 23, The Lord is my Shepherd. It has been undertaken by an African pastor, Zephania Kameeta, who was formerly vice-president of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Namibia.
He tackles issues such as fairness and freedom and seeks to inspire those praying and working for harmony, fairness and freedom around the world.
In the 23rd Psalm, the passage "Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death" has been replaced by "Even if a full-scale violent confrontation breaks out I will not be afraid, Lord".
Starting with the traditional opening line, "The Lord is my shepherd", the new version goes on to declare "he lets me see a country of justice and peace and directs me towards this land" and his "shepherd's power and love protect me".
The new works appear in Pocket Prayers for Justice and Peace and is compiled by the charity Christian Aid. It will be published in October by Church House Publishing, the official publisher of the Church of England.
It also includes a version of the Lord's Prayer written by a "community in central America", that begins: "Our father who is in us here on earth, holy is your name in the hungry who share their bread and their song."
It includes the line that God is "giving us our daily bread when we manage to get back our lands or to get a fairer wage".
And ends with, "and we have believed in the humanity and life and we shall have known your kingdom which is being built for ever and ever".
Paula Clifford, the publications manager of Christian Aid, said: "Some of this might be thought to be radical, but we hope the book might enable people to see things in a new light.
"After all, Christians in Namibia are going to see things, like the 23rd Psalm, in a different way from Christians in a different setting.
Eleanor Young, of Church House Publishing, said the book sought to inspire those praying and working for harmony, fairness and freedom around the world.
OPENING LINES OF THE 23RD PSALM
The Lord is my Shepherd, I'll not want.
He makes me down to lie
In pastures green; He leadeth me
The quiet waters by.
My soul He doth restore again;
And me to walk doth make
Within the paths of righteousness,
Even for His own Name's sake.
Pastor Kameeta's version:
The Lord is my shepherd;
I have everything I need.
He lets me see a country of justice and peace
And directs my steps towards this land.
He gives me power.
He guides me in the paths of victory,
as he has promised.