Understanding the Our Father
Our Father, also known as The Lord’s Prayer, came straight from the mouth of God. What better way to pray? It is a model prayer, a foundational prayer.
It is a way of starting prayer with scripture/the Word of God. In this prayer, our Lord gives us an example of the order in which to pray (This order doesn’t start with your wish list). This prayer is used at Mass (in the Eucharistic rites) and the celebration of sacraments – baptism, (after the person has been baptized, at the point where your status has just changed, and you’ve become a child of God, now a part of His family.
Only in Christianity are adherents able to call God Father).
At Mass, it is one of the petitions we pray. It is also referred to by some as an end-time prayer – a prayer made as we wait for the end time: thy Kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it in heaven.
Hallowed be thy Name… The 2nd commandment reminds us not to take the Name of the Lord in vain. The Jews, for example, revered the Name of God so much, that even in writing they would use a different quill to write it down. God values His Name, and He does things for His Name’s sake. (John 17:11)
At baptism, God’s Name is imprinted on our souls. As His children who carry His Name, how do we live our lives and comport ourselves?
When we call The Lord our Father, we are to be reminded of that covenantal relationship which we have entered into with God. The Church is the new communion of God and men.
Who art in Heaven… Jesus is Emmanuel and has an abiding presence in the Eucharist. If God dwells in us, Heaven is in us. God dwells in the hearts of those who love Him.
Thy kingdom come… Jesus said at the Last Supper that He would not take of the Last cup until He was in the Kingdom. He took of this cup on the cross – that was the moment the Kingdom was established on earth.
Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven… Our Mother Mary abandoned herself completely to the Lord’s will, in the face of embarrassment, disgrace, and a possible death sentence. God constantly tells us His plans for us are for good. He knows how to get you to your destination better than you do.
Give us this day our daily bread… We are not just praying for ordinary bread but for Manna or living bread – primarily it refers to the Eucharist. This is why this prayer is said before we receive the Eucharist.
And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us… We set a standard for how we are to be treated. We have to learn to let go so we can receive mercy.
And lead us not into temptation… This can be rephrased as ‘and let us not stumble into temptation’ because God doesn’t lead us into temptation.
But deliver us from all evil… We rely on God’s grace to save us from temptation, sin etc.