Friends, I’d like to hear your opinion, as I work on the Lord’s Prayer song for the upcoming Slugs & Bugs Scripture CD. Most of the songs on the CD will appeal to a wide age range. Say, from 7 to 77. But I’ve written just a few that are geared toward little bitty kids. The Lords Prayer is one of these. It has a very simple melody that my 5 year old loves to sing.
As you may know, there are two different versions of the Lord’s Prayer in the New Testament; one in Matthew and one in Luke. And as I’ve been making artistic decisions based on making it rich for pre-schoolers, I’m either being tempted or inspired to combine the two – taking parts from Matthew and parts from Luke and make Frankenstein’s version of the Lord’s Prayer.
Here are the two versions from the ESV –
“Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name.[a]
10 Your kingdom come,
your will be done,[b]
on earth as it is in heaven.
11 Give us this day our daily bread,[c]
12 and forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
13 And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.[d]
“Father, hallowed be your name.
Your kingdom come.
3 Give us each day our daily bread,[b]
4 and forgive us our sins,
for we ourselves forgive everyone who is indebted to us.
And lead us not into temptation.”
The main issue is whether to sing “forgive us our debts” or “forgive us our sins”. I’m really leaning toward using mostly Matthew’s version but replacing the debt language with Luke’s sin language. Anyone have a problem with that? Essentially, the kids would be learning a version of the Lord’s Prayer that does not actually exist.
The reasoning, of course, is that “forgive my sin” might mean more to an average 4 year old than “forgive my debt”. Though I know children don’t always need to understand what they are singing, I’m still leaning toward mixing the language for their sake. Please weigh in if you have thoughts.