Written by Katie Pezzutto

The world is full of need. It always has been and always will be—until all creation is restored. When faced with so many overwhelming tragedies, we often believe we need to support everyone we encounter.

Jesus may have struggled with the same thoughts. Deep in his ministry, He was asked for many favours. Despite the frequent requests, He didn’t always show up when people thought He should. He didn’t visit the entire country and heal everyone in Judea. 

On the other hand, He was moved to compassion and stayed with the crowds even though He was tired (Matthew 9:36). Jesus knew when to show up and when not to because of His relationship with the Father (John 5:19).

Knowing when to pour out and when to rest is so important for a few reasons. As humans, we require rest, and it’s important we take care of our bodies and spirits. But also, sustainable long-term ministry depends on our ability to rest. If we want to love people like Christ, we can follow the guide Jesus gave us: the Lord’s Prayer.  

The Lord’s prayer was originally recorded in Aramaic. I’d love to share a transliterated version with you. 

Awoon Dwashmaya “Our Daddy who [is] in the universe.”

Jesus uses Awoon “our Daddy” as a reminder that God isn’t to be feared; He is a loving father we can put our trust in. He’s someone we can come to with another person’s worries and trust He’ll take care of them.  

Nithkadash Shmakh “Holy be thy name.”

The word “kadish” is extracted from “kadash” and refers to the holiness of God’s name. This excerpt highlights the importance of not using God’s name (or cause) as an oath in uncertain, potentially unfavourable transactions. The solemnity of keeping an oath is mentioned in Matthew 5:37: “Let your yes be yes and your no be no.”

In other words, when we commit to something, we should carry it out. Or, if we find ourselves unable to offer help because we’re exhausted or have previous commitments, it is wise to say no. 

Taythel malcoothakh “Come your kingdom.”

The Jewish people thought what they needed was an earthly salvation, but Jesus spoke of a spiritual kingdom. When we revert to what we think people need without consulting our Father’s wisdom, we might find ourselves pouring into a broken cup. 

Malcootha means “counsel” or “advice” and has the same root as “king.” When we say this, we are praying: Let God’s counsel or advice come into our lives to guide and direct us rightly. We need God’s guidance before we act.

Ehweh sevianakh aicanna dwashmaya op barah “Let your wish be, as in the universe, also on the earth.”

The Aramaic word “sevianakh” means: “thy delight or thy pleasure.” Like any good father, God wants what is best for us and those around us. We only need to ask Him. (Matthew 7:11).

Havlan lakhma dsonkanan yomana “Give us bread for our necessities today.”

Ancient Eastern people prepared enough bread for their household and a little extra in case a guest showed up. Yet lakhma doesn’t simply mean bread as food. It also means understanding and truth. Jesus spoke of Himself as the bread of life. When we spend time with Jesus we are filled to overflowing with His wisdom, guidance, and direction. So much so that sharing won’t be burdensome. 

Washboklan khoban: aicanna dop khnan shbakn lekhayaven “Forgive us our offenses, as we have forgiven our offenders.”

A literal translation would be “Free us [from] our offenses as also we have freed our offenders.” “Khoben” means something more than debt. It also means faults—mistakes or offenses. The word “shbakn” means forgive and free, untie, or release. If we have been hurt by someone, forgiveness stops the circle of pain and allows us the freedom to heal so we can better approach a similar situation in the future.

Gola talan lnisuna ella pasan min bisha “And do not let us enter into temptation, but deliver us from evil.”

“Talan” comes from the root word “al” which means to attack or wrestle. Here it means “do not let us enter.” The same word is used by Jesus in Matthew 26:41, when He said to His apostles: “Awake and pray, that you may not enter [talon] into temptation.” “Bisha” means evil error or mistake. God’s grace leads us to a new and better life. His power severs the chains of sin and habitual thinking that tries to eliminate a future full of possibilities. 

We need guidance and grace from our Father, a God who wants the best for us and for those we serve.   

Translations of the Aramaic have been inspired by the work of Dr. Rocco Ericco and further researched using Logos Bible Software.