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A Christian Body Prayer of the Lord's Prayer

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. Romans 12:1 KJV

The below description of a "Christian Body Prayer of the Lord's Prayer" is based on traditional Syriac Christian movements (as first adapted by Dr Neil Douglas-Klotz) and practices of the Gurdjieff Work. Some of these postures, positions and movements (or derivations thereof) are shared across the Abrahamic faiths though, regrettably, Christianity has not sustained most of these sorts of practices in Western countries.


Prayers are provided in "Aramaic" (the tongue of Christ) by Dr Neil Douglas-Klotz in correspondence to the "Old English" version of the King James Bible. Prayer recitation can be verbal (preferably) or silent, depending on individual circumstances.


1. Preparation

  • Washing of hands and general hygiene are essential beforehand. A clean space is prepared to conduct the Prayer. A prayer mat or rug can be used to demarcate the prayer space.

  • Stand upright, traditionally facing an Eastward direction. If using a prayer mat, stand at the end of the mat facing towards it.

  • With eyes open, gradually come into an inward silence - the body soft, maintaining a verticality with the spine, and hands by sides.

  • When one can come to a place inside of minimal effort, yet standing tall, begin to bring the attention into contact with the organic sensations of the body - commencing at the top of the head.

  • Systematically connect the attention to the organic sensations of the rest of the body in a downwards survey, finishing at the tips of the toes.

  • Try to achieve a "whole-body-sensation", sensing into the vibration and feeling the new state of being that arises.

  • When ready, hold the left and right hands behind the left and right ears, respectively.

  • With hands slightly cupped, listen for a resonance in the body when saying: “Abwoon d’bashmaya” (“Our Father which art in heaven”).

 

One of the aims of the Christian Body Prayer is to sustain a whole-of-body-sensation throughout, particularly as one transitions from one posture and recitation to another.

 

2. Recitation of the Lord's Prayer

  • With arms folded in front, approximately just under chest height, right hand over left wrist, and left hand under right wrist, the Lord's Prayer is recited:

“Abwoon d’bashmaya” (“Our Father which art in heaven”).

“Nitkaddash shmakh” (“Hallowed be thy name”).

“Teytey malkutakh” (“Thy Kingdom come”).

“Nehwey sebyanakh aykana d’bashmaya aph b’ar’ah” (“Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven”).

“Hablwlan lachma d’sunquanan yaomana” (“Give us this day our daily bread”).

“Wahsboqlan khaubayn (wakhtahayn) aykana daph khnan shbwoqan l’khayyabayn” (“And forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us").

“Wela tahlan l’nesyuna ela patsan min bisha”(“And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil”).

“Metol dilakhie malkuta wahayla watesbukhta l’ahlam almin. Ameyn”(“For thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen”).

 

Recitation of prayer should involve the whole body, even if recited silently. The body is the instrument of prayer, the feelings are the music, the mind is the musician, and the state of being is the amplifier.

 

3. Sign of the cross and humble bow

  • After a brief pause, say “Abwoon” (“Our Father”) as the right hand moves from the forehead to the pubic bone in a vertical plane, and then “d’bashmaya”(“which art in Heaven”) as the right hand moves from the left to right shoulder in a horizontal plane.

  • Pause, then lean forward (bowing) with both hands on knees, legs straight and face towards the floor, saying "Nitkaddash shmakh” (“Hallowed be thy name”).

  • Pause, then stand upright saying “Teytey malkutakh” (“Thy Kingdom come”).

Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? Matthew 16:24-26 KJV

4. First prostration

  • Move into the first prostration by gently bending the knees and leaning forward and coming downwards, contacting the ground in a kneeling position, with the hands bracing either side.

  • With feet/knees anchored, move the head forward so the forehead and nose come into contact with ground, supported by the hands braced comfortably on both sides.

  • Then say: "Nehwey sebyanakh aykana d’bashmaya aph b’ar’ah” (“Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven”).

  • Return to the kneeling, upright position, with palms of hands on thighs and say “Hablwlan lachma d’sunquanan yaomana” (“Give us this day our daily bread”).

 

A prostration is not just a physical movement - it is an attitude, firm and precise, that aligns the body to the intention of prayer.

 

5. Second prostration

  • Move into the second prostration, and with forehead/nose touching the ground, say “Wahsboqlan khaubayn (wakhtahayn) aykana daph khnan shbwoqan l’khayyabayn” (“And forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us”).

  • Return to the kneeling, upright position, with palms of hands on thighs.

6. Crossing, leaning and turning

  • Pause, and then cross the right arm over the chest, so the right hand touches the left shoulder, saying “Wela tahlan l’nesyuna” (“And lead us not into temptation”).

  • Then cross the left arm over the chest, so the left hand touches the right shoulder, saying “ela patsan min bisha” (“but deliver us from evil”).

  • With arms crossed, gently lean back with head titled up slightly and say “Metol dilakhie malkuta” (“For thine is the kingdom”).

  • Gently lean forward with head titled down slightly and say “wahayla watesbukhta” (“and the power and the glory”).

  • Return to the upright position and turn the head right, saying “l’ahlam” (“for ever”).

  • Turn the head left and say “almin” (“and ever”).

  • Return the head to the center position and say “Ameyn” (“Amen”).

7. Third prostration

  • Uncross the arms and move into a third prostration.

  • With forehead/nose touching the ground, recite the Lord's Prayer:

“Abwoon d’bashmaya” (“Our Father which art in heaven”).

“Nitkaddash shmakh” (“Hallowed be thy name”).

“Teytey malkutakh” (“Thy Kingdom come”).

“Nehwey sebyanakh aykana d’bashmaya aph b’ar’ah” (“Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven”).

“Hablwlan lachma d’sunquanan yaomana” (“Give us this day our daily bread”).

“Wahsboqlan khaubayn (wakhtahayn) aykana daph khnan shbwoqan l’khayyabayn” (“And forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us").

“Wela tahlan l’nesyuna ela patsan min bisha”(“And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil”).

“Metol dilakhie malkuta wahayla watesbukhta l’ahlam almin. Ameyn”(“For thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen”).


8. Completion

  • Return to the upright position while kneeling, with arms bent at the elbow and in front, slightly to the side, with palms of the hand facing gently inward and upward.

  • Renew the connection with the body by trying to achieve a 'whole-of body-sensation' - bathing oneself in the tangible, organic energy.

  • Make prayers for others and aims oneself, and complete by bringing the hands together and thanking God.

  • Pause for as long as one can while sustaining a contact with the sensations of the body - soaking in the quality of presence.

  • Then move back into life with a silent and firm wish to stay connected to what has been received.

Any prayer may be heard by the Higher Powers and a corresponding answer obtained only if it is uttered thrice: Firstly - for the welfare or the peace of the souls of one's parents. Secondly - for the welfare of one's neighbour. And thirdly - for oneself personally. From 'Friendly Advice' in Gurdjieff's "Beelzebub's Tales to His Grandson".

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