Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us, and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. The Gospel of St. Matthew In response to his disciples' request "Lord, teach us to pray," Jesus gives them the fundamental Christian prayer, the Our Father, the prayer of hope.
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Jesus presents himself as our model, and invites us to become his disciples and follow him; in humbling himself, he has given us an example to imitate. The New Covenant practices almsgiving, prayer, and fasting; its prayer is the "Our Father.
The Lord's Prayer is truly a summary of the whole Gospel. All the Scriptures are fulfilled in Christ. What a blessing to call God our Father! Through Baptism we are adopted as Children of God. The free gift of adoption requires on our part continual conversion and a new life.
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Praying to our Father should develop in us two fundamental dispositions: first, the desire to become like him, and second, a humble and trusting heart. The Father is in heaven, his dwelling place, our homeland to which we aspire. The Church Father St. Augustine noted seven petitions in Matthew's version of the Lord's Prayer, the first three theological for the glory of the Father, which draw us towards him, and the last four present our wants to him and request his grace.
The first series of petitions carry us toward him, for his own sake: thy name, thy kingdom, thy will. It is characteristic of love to think first of the one whom we love.
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The second series of petitions are an offering up of our hopes. The term "to hallow" means to recognize as holy, to treat in a holy way. Gregory of Nyssa, a Church Father in Cappadocia in Asia Minor, wrote around AD that "of all good things the most important for me is that God's name should be glorified in my life.
The sanctification of God's name in the world and our own salvation depends on our life and prayer. The Kingdom of God is in our midst in the Eucharist. This second petition prays for the growth of the kingdom of God in the "today" of our lives, bearing the fruit of new life in the Eight Beatitudes of Jesus. Of great interest, a rare variant of Luke in the earliest Greek manuscripts reads instead "May the Holy Spirit come upon us and purify us! Gregory of Nyssa continues this concept in his sermon on this phrase: "Therefore the true Physician of the diseases of the soul, who shared the life of man for the sake of those who were sick, gradually weakens the cause of disease through the thoughts contained in the prayer and so restores us to spiritual health.
God's expression of his will is the commandment that "you love one another, even as I have loved you" John This commandment summarizes all the others and expresses his entire will. We ask for God's loving plan to be fully realized on earth as it already is in heaven. Through prayer we can discern what is the will of God and obtain the endurance to do it. May we learn obedience!
The original Greek Bible has the Imperative of Entreaty expressed in all of these petitions; in other words, the word please is implied. The Father who gives us life gives us "our bread," the nourishment life requires, both material and spiritual. Jesus teaches us to pray, "Ask and it will be given to you, seek and you will find, knock and the door will be opened to you" Matthew The Greek word epiousios for "daily" appears only in the Lord's Prayer and literally means "superessential," which refers directly to the Bread of Life, the Body of Christ.
The presence of world hunger calls Christians to exercise responsibility and justice for the poor, to share with love our spiritual and material goods. This petition also addresses the spiritual famine of the world, and the Christian is to proclaim the good news to the poor, the Bread of Life: the Body of Christ received in Communion.
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In this petition we return to Him as a prodigal son and begin our confession as sinners and need of mercy. The Penitential Psalms are beautiful expressions of a repentant heart. Humility will allow us to say like the tax collector, "O God, be merciful to me a sinner" Luke Our hope is firm, for in his Son we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. There is a condition here: this mercy can only fill our hearts if we have forgiven those who have trespassed against us!
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Remember the verses that follow the Our Father in Matthew: "For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses" Matthew Wouldn't it be a blessing if we could forgive like Jesus: "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do" Luke For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever.
He Jesus was praying in a certain place, and after he had finished, one of his disciples said to him, "Lord, teach us to prayer, as John taught his disciples. Father, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come. Give us each day our daily bread. And forgive us our sins, for we ourselves forgive everyone indebted to us.
And do not bring us to the time of trial. Pray then in this way: Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, Your will be done, On earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And do not bring us to the time of trial, but rescue us from the evil one. For if you forgive others of their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you; but if you do not forgive others, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. Skip to main content.
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