The Lord's Prayer (Our Father)




Saint Cyprian of Carthage wrote of the Lord's Prayer:

“My dear friends, the Lord’s Prayer contains many great mysteries of our faith. In these few words there is great spiritual strength, for this summary of divine teaching contains all of our prayers and petitions.”


Pope Benedict XVI wrote:

The meaning of the Our Father goes much further than the mere provision of a prayer text. It aims to form our being, to train us in the inner attitude of Jesus.

The Lord's Prayer can be found in the Gospel of Matthew, 6:9-13. Beginning in verse 5 though, Jesus instructs them them in the ways and rightful means of prayer to the Father (God):



5 And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.
6 But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.
7 But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.
8 Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him.

The prayer is then found beginning on verse 9 and going through 13 (It can also be found in Luke 11:2-4):

(English) -

Our Father, who art in heaven,

hallowed be thy name;

thy kingdom come,

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.

For the kingdom,

the power and the glory are yours

now and for ever.



(Latin - Roman Missal)

Pater noster qui es in caelis

sanctificetur nomen tuum

adveniat regnum tuum

fiat voluntas tua sicut in caelo et in terra

Panem nostrum cotidianum[m] da nobis hodie

et dimitte nobis debita nostra

sicut et nos dimittimus debitoribus nostris

et ne nos inducas in tentationem

sed libera nos a malo





Saint Augustine wrote of the Lord's Prayer:


We need to use words (when we pray) so that we may remind ourselves to consider carefully what we are asking, not so that we may think we can instruct the Lord or prevail on him. When we say: "Hallowed be your name," we are reminding ourselves to desire that his name, which in fact is always holy, should also be considered holy among men. ...But this is a help for men, not for God. ...And as for our saying: "Your kingdom come," it will surely come whether we will it or not. But we are stirring up our desires for the kingdom so that it can come to us and we can deserve to reign there. ...When we say: "Deliver us from evil," we are reminding ourselves to reflect on the fact that we do not yet enjoy the state of blessedness in which we shall suffer no evil. ...It was very appropriate that all these truths should be entrusted to us to remember in these very words. Whatever be the other words we may prefer to say (words which the one praying chooses so that his disposition may become clearer to himself or which he simply adopts so that his disposition may be intensified), we say nothing that is not contained in the Lord’s Prayer, provided of course we are praying in a correct and proper way.

The Prayer is divided into 8 sections - An introduction followed by 7 petitions:


Introduction

In the Roman Catholic tradition, it is common to say "Dare we say" right before the beginning of the prayer. This is another reminder of the truly righteous and Holy name of God. To refer to God in such a close and familiar way is an extremely powerful way of using His name - to call the creator of the universe and salvation Father. Our Father which art in Heaven reminds us that we (all of us) have a Heavenly Father, distinct from our earthly father.


First Petition

"Hallowed be thy name"


Again we are reminded here of Saint Augustine -

"we are reminding ourselves to desire that his name, which in fact is always holy, should also be considered holy among men. "

By saying the introduction we are not only recognizing that God is Holy but we are also recognizing and stating aloud that His name is Holy and we are asking all the world to recognize God as THE holy power.



Second Petition

"Thy Kingdom Come"

This petition is paralleled in the Jewish Prayer - 'May he establish his Kingdom during your life and during your days'. We ask both for God's kingdom now and petition the fulfillment of his promise that Christ will return.


Third Petition

"Thy will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven"

William Barclay writes that this phrase is a couplet with the same meaning as Thy Kingdom come:


"The kingdom is a state of things on earth in which God's will is as perfectly done as it is in heaven. ...To do the will of God and to be in the Kingdom of God are one and the same thing."

John Ortberg writes that this request is also God's invitation to join him in making things here as they are in Heaven.


The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops writes:


“In committing ourselves to [Christ], we can become one spirit with him, and thereby accomplish his will…”

Fourth Petition

"Give us this day our daily bread"

The Catechism of the Catholic Church writes:


"Taken in a temporal sense, this word is a pedagogical repetition of 'this day', to confirm us in trust 'without reservation'. Taken in the qualitative sense, it signifies what is necessary for life, and more broadly every good thing sufficient for subsistence. Taken literally (epi-ousios: "super-essential"), it refers directly to the Bread of Life, the Body of Christ, the 'medicine of immortality,' without which we have no life within us."


Fifth Petition

"And forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us"

Here we petition God to forgive us the sins we have committed and forgive those who have sinned against us (As we have sinned against God). In God's wisdom, we see that if we are holding onto bitterness, anger or jealousy in our hearts there is no room for God's love to fill. It is precisely through prayer that we can overcome the earthly desire to hold one's trespasses committed against us. R.T. France elaborates on this:


The point is not so much that forgiving is a prior condition of being forgiven, but that forgiving cannot be a one-way process. Like all God's gifts it brings responsibility; it must be passed on. To ask for forgiveness on any other basis is hypocrisy. There can be no question, of course, of our forgiving being in proportion to what we are forgiven, as 18:23–35 makes clear.



Sixth Petition

"And Lead us not into temptation"

Pope Francis commented on this in 2017:

"I am the one who falls; it's not him [God] pushing me into temptation to then see how I have fallen"

By petitioning God's help, we seek aid in adding roadblocks on the path that leads to temptation. We seek his guidance and will to avoid falling into sin.


Seventh Petition

"But Deliver us from Evil"

Similar phrases can be found in John 17:15 and Thessalonians 3:3; Only though Christ can we be delivered from evil and the evil one.




Greek Liturgical:

Πάτερ ἡμῶν ὁ ἐν τοῖς οὐρανοῖς,

ἁγιασθήτω τὸ ὄνομά σου,

ἐλθέτω ἡ βασιλεία σου,

γενηθήτω τὸ θέλημά σου ὡς ἐν οὐρανῷ καὶ ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς.

τὸν ἄρτον ἡμῶν τὸν ἐπιούσιον δὸς ἡμῖν σήμερον

καὶ ἄφες ἡμῖν τὰ ὀφειλήματα ἡμῶν, ὡς καὶ ἡμεῖς ἀφίεμεν τοῖς ὀφειλέταις ἡμῶν.

καὶ μὴ εἰσενέγκῃς ἡμᾶς εἰς πειρασμόν, ἀλλὰ ῥῦσαι ἡμᾶς ἀπὸ τοῦ πονηροῦ.

ὅτι σοῦ ἐστιν ἡ βασιλεία καὶ ἡ δύναμις καὶ ἡ δόξα εἰς τοὺς αἰῶνας ἀμήν.



Syriac Liturgical


ܐܒ݂ܘܢ ܕ݁ܒ݂ܫܡܝܐ

ܢܬ݂ܩܕ݁ܫ ܫܡܟ݂

ܬ݁ܐܬ݂ܐ ܡܠܟ݁ܘܬ݂ܟ݂

ܢܗܘܐ ܨܒ݂ܝܢܟ݂ ܐܝܟ݁ܢܐ ܕ݂ܒ݂ܫܡܝܐ ܐܦ݂ ܒ݁ܐܪܥܐ‎

ܗܒ݂ ܠܢ ܠܚܡܐ ܕ݂ܣܘܢܩܢܢ ܝܘܡܢܐ‎

ܘܫܒ݂ܘܩ ܠܢ ܚܘ̈ܒ݁ܝܢ ܘܚܛܗ̈ܝܢ ܐܝܟ݁ܢܐ ܕ݂ܐܦ݂ ܚܢܢ ܫܒ݂ܩܢ ܠܚܝ̈ܒ݂ܝܢ‎

ܘܠܐ ܬ݂ܥܠܢ ܠܢܣܝܘܢܐ ܐܠܐ ܦ݂ܨܢ ܡܢ ܒ݁ܝܫܐ

ܡܛܠ ܕ݁ܕ݂ܝܠܟ݂ ܗ̄ܝ ܡܠܟ݁ܘܬ݂ܐ ܚܝܠܐ ܬ݂ܫܒ݁ܘܚܬ݁ܐ ܠܥܠܡ ܥܠܡܝܢ ܐܡܝܢ‎


‎Chinese

我們在天上的父,

願人都尊祢的名為聖,

願祢的國降臨,

願祢的旨意行在地上,

如同行在天上。

我們日用的飲食,

今日賜給我們,

免我們的債,

如同我們免了人的債,

不叫我們遇見試探,

救我們脫離兇惡,

因為國度、權柄、榮耀,全是祢的,

直到永遠。阿們!


Japanese

天に在す我等の父や。

願くは爾の名は聖とせられ。

爾の国は来り。

爾の旨は天に行わるるが如く、地にも行われん。

我が日用の糧を今日我等に与え給え。

我等に債ある者を我等免すが如く、我等の債を免し給え。

我等を誘に導かず、

なお我等を凶悪より救い給え。


Korean

하늘에 계신 우리 아버지

아버지의 이름이 거룩히 빛나시며

아버지의 나라가 오시며

아버지의 뜻이 하늘에서와 같이 땅에서도 이루어지소서.

오늘 저희에게 일용할 양식을 주시고

저희에게 잘못한 이를 저희가 용서하오니

저희 죄를 용서하시고

저희를 유혹에 빠지지 않게 하시고

악에서 구하소서.

(주님께 나라와 권능과 영광이 영원히 있나이다.)

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