Keyboard Prayer Hermeneutics

Don’t know where this originated. I’ve printed this on a small card and have kept it next to my computers for the last 25 years. So it goes back a while and probably had more meaning back then anyway (as you can tell by the technical terms).

Thought I’d present it here just to share something from the past, BUT even more to exemplify a theme we’ve kicked around many times, particularly in our Bible Study program, that all writing must be viewed in the context in which it was created, written and developed. I look at this prayer and remember a time when commands would echo on screen and printer, when it was necessary to understand algorithms in order to make sense of program structures and development, and I remember when all programming led to hours/days/weeks of debugging frustration and a prayer for smarts was always in order. Today, someone reading this prayer without an understanding of early computer-programming might offer a courteous smile or harshly condemn it as mocking Christianity. It certainly has a different meaning for the person who used a computer back in the late 70’s as a opposed to someone who’s first computer application was setting up an account on Facebook.

So here it is, from the early days of computing with this small prayer added from me – especially to those who would quote Holy Scripture in a literal manner – that this serve as a reminder that even the Bible was created in a time and place in history and not outside of it.


Our Program, who art in Memory,
‘Hello’ be thy name.
Thy Operating System come,
Thy commands be done,
On the Printer
As they are on the Screen.
Give us this day our daily data,
And forgive us our I/O errors
As we forgive those whose
logic circuits are faulty.
And lead us not into frustration,
But deliver us from power surges.
For thine is the algorithm, the
application and the implementation
Looping for ever and ever.


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