The Gospel according to Spiritism
chapter 28 - Spiritism collection of prayers - common prayers
The Lord’s Prayer
The Spirits recommended that we begin this anthology with the Lord’s Prayer, not simply as a prayer, but also as a symbol. Of all the prayers, this one is considered the most important because it came from Jesus Himself (See Matthew, 6:9-13.) and because it can substitute all others, according to the intention and the thoughts that are joined to it. It is the most concisely perfect model, a truly sublime work of art in its simplicity.
With effect, in its much-reduced form, it manages to summarise all of duties of humans before God, before ourselves and before our neighbour. It includes a mark of faith, an act of adoration and submission, a request for those things necessary to terrestrial life and the principle of charity.
Whoever says this prayer for another asks for them what they would ask for themselves.
Nevertheless, because of its shortness, the deep meaning of some of its words escapes most people. This is usually because they say them without thinking of the meaning of each of the phrases. They say them just like a mechanical formula, whose efficiency is proportional to the number of times it is repeated. This number is usually cabalistic: three, seven or nine, in view of the ancient superstitious belief in the power of numbers and of their practical use in magic.
In order to fill the void often felt by the shortness of this prayer, the Spirits have recommended and helped us to add a commentary to each of the phrases that increase their meaning and shows the best way to make use of each one. In accordance with individual circumstances and the time at your disposal at any given moment, you can say the Lord’s Prayer in its simple form or in the more developed way.
I - Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name!
Lord, we believe in you, because everything about us reveals Your goodness and Your power. The harmony of the Universe is proof of wisdom, prudence and a foresight that surpasses all human faculties. The Name of a Being Who is supremely great and wise is written on all the works of Creation, from the humble grass and the smallest insect up to the stars and planets in space. On all sides, we see proof of a paternal solicitude. Blind then is the person who does not recognise Your works. Prideful is the one who does not worship You, and ungrateful is the one who does not give thanks to You.
II – May Your kingdom come!
Lord, you gave humanity laws full of wisdom, which would make them happy if only they observed them. With these laws, justice and peace could be established and all could help each other instead of causing mutual harm as they do. The strong should uphold the weak instead of crushing them. The evils that are born of abuses and excesses of all kinds could be avoided. All the miseries of this world stem from the violation of Your laws, because there is not one infraction that does not bring its fatal consequences. You gave the animals an instinct that traces the limits of their necessities and to which they respond mechanically. However, to humanity as well as instinct, You also gave intelligence and reason. Still more, You gave the liberty to keep or to violate those of Your laws that concern each one personally, or rather the faculty to choose between good and evil, so that we have the merit and the responsibility for our actions. No one can protest ignorance of Your laws, because in Your paternal providence You desired that they be recorded in the consciousness of each one, without distinction as to cults or nationality. In this manner, those who violate them do so because they despise You. The day will come when according to Your promise all will practise these laws. Then incredulity will have disappeared; all will recognise in You the Supreme Lord of all things and the reign of Your laws will herald Your reign here on Earth. Lord, deign to hasten the accession of Your reign by giving Humanity the necessary enlightenment that will conduct them along the pathway of truth!
III – May Your will be done on Earth as it is in heaven!.
If submission is the duty of a son towards his father, of the inferior towards his superior, how much greater is that of a being towards their Creator! By the words: ‘Your will be done, Lord,’ it is for us to observe Your laws and to submit ourselves without lamentations to all Your divine designs. Humankind will become submissive when they understand You are the source of all wisdom and that without You we can do nothing. Then they will do Your bidding on Earth as do Your elected ones in Heaven.
IV – Give us this day our daily bread
Give us the necessary food for the maintenance of our physical strength and give us spiritual nourishment for the development of our spirits. The animals find their pastures, but humans depend on their own activities and their mental resources to produce their food because You gave them freedom. You have said “You will earn your bread by the sweat of your brow,” and with these words You made work an obligation. That makes us exercise our intelligence in the search for the means to provide our necessities and to attend to our well-being: some by their material work, others by their intellectual work. Without work, humanity would remain stationary and could not aspire to the happiness of the Superior Spirits. Please help those of goodwill, who depend on You for what is necessary; but not, however, those who take pleasure in being lazy and like to receive all things without any effort, nor those who seek superfluity. (See chapter 25.) How many succumb through their own fault, through negligence, through being improvident, through ambition, or through not being content with what You have given them! These are the authors of their own misfortune and do not have the right to complain, since they are punished according to the manner in which they have sinned. Nevertheless, You will not abandon even these, because You are infinitely merciful and will extend a providential hand to them, if they return to You with sincerity, like the prodigal son. (See chapter 5, item 4.) Before lamenting our bad luck, we ask ourselves if it is not our own fault at each misfortune that befalls us; we try to verify if we could have avoided it. We repeat to ourselves that God has given us intelligence to be able to resolve every difficult situation and that we must put this intelligence to good use. Seeing that humans are subject to the law of labour here on Earth, give us the courage and the strength to fulfil this law. Give us also prudence and moderation so that we may not lose its fruits. Give us our daily bread Lord, or rather the means of acquiring our necessities through work, because no one has the right to ask for superfluity. If we are unable to work, we will have confidence in Your divine providence. If it is within Your design to test us with great privation, despite our efforts, we accept this as a just expiation for the faults that we have committed in this life or in a previous one. We know that You are just, and that there are no undeserved penalties since You never punish without a motive. Dear Lord, preserve us from envying those who have what we have not, or those who have superfluous things at their disposal, when we are wanting in what is necessary. Forgive them, Lord, if they forget the law of charity and love towards one’s neighbour, which You taught. (See chapter 16, item 8.) Withdraw also from our spirit any idea of denying the existence of Your justice, when we see evil prosper and the unhappiness that sometimes befalls a good person. Thanks to this new enlightenment given to us, we know that Your justice never fails, nor does it make exceptions. The material prosperity of an evil person is as fragile as their bodily existence and they will experience terrible reverses; whereas life will be eternal bliss for those who suffer with resignation. (See chapter 5, items 7, 9, 12 & 18.)
V – Forgive our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us. - Forgive our offences, as we forgive those who offend us.
Kiekvienas iš Tavo, Viešpatie, įstatymų pažeidimų yra įžeidimas Tau, Dieve, ir sutartinė skola, kuri anksčiau ar vėliau turės būti sumokėta. Mes prašome, Taves, kad mums atleistum su savo begaliniu gailestingumu ir pažadame dėti visas reikiamas pastangas, kad išvengtume naujų skolų.
Tu priėmei aiškų labdaros įstatymą; bet labdara nėra vien pagalba savo stokojančiam artimui: ji taip pat apima užmiršimą ir nusikaltimų atleidimą. Pagal kokią teisę mes galime prašyti Tavo indulgencijos, Viešpatie, jei patys to nesugebame pajausti tiems, kuriems turime pagrindą skųstis?
Duok mums! O DIEVE! stiprybės paskandinti mūsų sieloje visus jausmus, neapykantą ir apmaudą; „Neleisk, kad mirtis nustebintų mus su musu širdyje esanciu keršto troškimu”. Jei šiandien nori paimti mūsų gyvybes, priversk mus prisistatyti prieš Tave su visišku atsidavimu, sekdami Kristaus pavyzdžiu, kurio paskutiniai žodžiai buvo gailestingi jo mirties bausmės vykdytojams. (X skyrius).
Persekiojimai, kuriuos mus verčia kentėti blogi žmones, yra dalis mūsų išbandymų, ir mes turime juos priimti nesigėdydami, kaip ir visus kitus išbandymai, o ne prakeikti tuos, kurie savo blogybėmis palengvina amžinosios laimės kelią, nes jūs mums pasakėte Jėzaus lūpomis: „Laimingi tie, kurie kenčia už teisingumą!“ Palaiminkime tada ranką, kuri mus skaudina ir žemina, nes kūno žaizdos sustiprina mūsų sielą ir mes būsime pakelti nuo savo nuolankumo. (XII skyrius, Nr. 4).
Palaimintas tavo vardas, Viešpatie, už tai, kad mums parodai, kad mūsų likimas po mirties nėra negrįžtamai nustatytas ir kad kitose egzistencijose rasime priemonių, kaip išsigelbėti ir atitaisyti savo praeities gedimus, naujame įvykdyti tai, ko negalime padaryti šiame už mūsų dvasinį augimą. (IV ir V skyriai, Nr. 5).
Trumpai tariant, tai paaiškina visas akivaizdžias gyvenimo anomalijas, nes Tu, Viešpatie, esi šviesa mūsų praeityje ir mūsų ateityje, tai parodo tavo puikų teisingumo ir begalinio gerumo ženklą.
VI – Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from all evil.
Lord, give us the necessary strength to resist all suggestions coming from the evil spirits, who will try to divert us from the path of goodness by inspiring us with evil thoughts. Nevertheless, we too are imperfect spirits incarnated on Earth to expiate our sins and better ourselves. The cause of evil lies deep within our own souls, and the evil Spirits do nothing more than take advantage of our inferior tendencies to tempt us. Each imperfection is an open door to their influences; whereas they become powerless and give up any attempt against perfect beings. Everything we do to send them away will be useless, as long as we do not put up a decided and unbreakable decision to practice goodness, together with a total renunciation of all evil. Therefore, it is against ourselves that our efforts must be directed. Then the evil spirits will leave us naturally, since evil attracts them; whereas goodness repels them. (See further on in this chapter: Prayers for the obsessed.) Lord, uphold us in our weaknesses; inspire us through the voices of our Guardian Angels and the Good Spirits with a desire to correct our imperfections, so that we may prevent access to our soul by evil Spirits. (See further on, item 11.) Evil is not Your work Lord, because the source of all goodness cannot engender any badness. It is we ourselves who create it when we infringe Your laws, and through the ill use we make of the liberty You concede us. When humanity has learned to keep Your laws, then evil will disappear from Earth; just as it has already disappeared from more advanced worlds. Evil does not constitute a fatal necessity for anybody and only appears to be irresistible to those who take pleasure in it. Therefore, if we have a desire to practise evil, we can also have a desire to practise goodness. For this reason, dear God, we beg Your assistance and that of the Good Spirits so we may resist temptation.
VII – So be it!
Dear God, may the realisation of our desires be pleasing to You and may we bow down before Your infinite wisdom. In all things that we are unable to understand, may Your blessed will be done and not ours, since You only desire our improvement and know what is best for us. We offer You this prayer, dear Lord, not only for ourselves, but also for all suffering creatures, both incarnate and discarnate, for our friends and our enemies, for all those who ask for our help and especially for X... (Name). We beseech Your mercy and blessings for all. NOTE: Here you can offer thanks to God for all that has been conceded to you and formulate any requests you may have, either for yourself or for others.