Praying with Brothers and Sisters from Guatemala
In this prayer, Julia Esquivel teaches us the meaning of each intercession of the Lord’s Prayer as we pray, opening our minds and hearts to a greater understanding of our great God and to the experience of brothers and sisters in Christ in another part of the world. Though our congregations may not experience many of the situations mentioned, we can pray on behalf of those for whom these things are realities.
Note: You may choose to read the boldface portions either in English or in Spanish.
Father of all who have been tortured, of all who are tormented, of those who hide in the caves, in the hills, in the jungle, and cannot come back to their wives nor their children because of military repression and terror . . .
who lives in all who seek justice because they love their brothers [and sisters] and serve you, serving and struggling with those who have no roof or food or clothes or medicine. . .
Tu Nombre es sanctificado
Your name is hallowed
in all those who defend the lives of the poor above money, coffee, cotton and sugar cane . . .
in all those who work night and day to free their brothers [and sisters] from illiteracy, sickness, exploitation and persecution . . .
Que venga Tu Reino,
Let your kingdom come,
your kingdom which is freedom and love, kinship and justice, life and rights, truth and not lies,
Sí, Señor, que venga Tu Reino,
Yes, Lord, let your kingdom come,
for in your kingdom we set aside our egotism and seek for others what we want for ourselves, that people join forces and discover new paths of hope.
Que se haga Tu voluntad,
Let your will be done,
which means breaking the yokes that oppress humanity, [which means] comfort for those who grieve, freedom for prisoners, strength for the tortured, and liberation and life for those who suffer violence.
Danos hoy nuestro pan de cada día:
Give us this day our daily bread:
the bread of living at home and walking the streets without being abducted, the bread of milk for all children, the bread of medical assistance for those in the countryside, the bread of land for the landless. . .
y perdónanos, Señor,
and forgive us, Lord,
for not knowing how to share the bread which you have given us. . .
así como nosotros perdonamos
as we forgive those
who have taken from us your bread which is ours. . . . Forgive us when out of fear we remain silent and do not say what you want us to say.
No nos dejes caer en tentación:
And lead us not into temptation:
to fit into the patterns of this world . . . to think that nothing can be done now,
Más líbranos del malo:
But deliver us from the evil one:
[who lurks] in the spies penetrating our communities and our churches . . . whose intention is to distort our words and defame our lives. . . .
Líbranos del malo,
Deliver us from evil,
civilian or in uniform . . .
y Señor, líbranos del malo,
and Lord, deliver us from evil,
which from our very depths tempts us to live our life by keeping to ourselves, when you are inviting us to give it for our friends.
Porgue tuyo es el Reino,
For yours is the kingdom,
belonging to no usurper . . .
tuyo el poder,
and yours is the power,
belonging to no structure or organization . . .
y la gloria es tuya,
and yours is the glory,
porque tú eres el único Dios
for you are the only God
y Padre por siempre,
and Father forever and ever,
The excerpted prayer above is adapted from “The Lord’s Prayer from Guatemala” published in the book Threatened with Resurrection: Prayers and Poems from an Exiled Guatemalan, by Julia Esquivel © 1982, 1994 Brethren Press. Used by permission.