There is debate right now on the relevance of the Lord’s Prayer being recited at the beginning of each day in the Victorian Parliament.
An attempt in the Federal Parliament to remove the Lord’s Prayer I opposed some ten years ago.
This is the Hansard from that time:
“The late Bishop John Wilson, bishop, pastor, friend and father: I want to recognise what he did when I asked him to write a preamble for a petition with regard to the Lord’s Prayer.
His preamble draws the attention of the House to its practice. This is what he wrote about praying the Lord’s Prayer:
We therefore ask the House to take consideration of the following:
We the undersigned as citizens of Australia ask that the use of the Lord’s Prayer be retained by Parliament as integral to good government and Australia’s national heritage.
The prayer acknowledges our shared and common humanity under a caring God, in a context of humility and respect;
It asks God to fulfil his just purposes for the earth;
It seeks from God the provision of our daily needs and requires by implication generosity on our part;
It confesses our need to be forgiven and to forgive;
It recognises the lure of corruption and our entanglement with evil, from which we need to be delivered;
Finally, it places our lives and actions in an eternal perspective.
Even for those who do not pray to God, the recitation of these words at the beginning of the Parliament allows a few moments for quiet reflection on our shared humanity, our daily dependence on the good things of the earth, our need to forgive and be forgiven, the temptations of office, and the broader perspective against which our efforts must be judged.
Such a time is not wasted.
That’s just as I see it.