The Lord’s Prayer
Paragraphs from the Catechism of the Catholic Church
2773 In response to his disciples’ request “Lord, teach us to pray” (⇒ Lk 11:1), Jesus entrusts them with the fundamental Christian prayer, the Our Father.
2774 “The Lord’s Prayer is truly the summary of the whole gospel,” The “most perfect of prayers.” It is at the center of the Scriptures.
2775 It is called “the Lord’s Prayer” because it comes to us from the Lord Jesus, the master and model of our prayer.
2776 The Lord’s Prayer is the quintessential prayer of the Church. It is an integral part of the major hours of the Divine Office and of the sacraments of Christian initiation: Baptism, Confirmation, and Eucharist. Integrated into the Eucharist it reveals the eschatological character of its petitions, hoping for the Lord, “until he comes” (⇒ 1 Cor 11:26).
2797 Simple and faithful trust, humble and joyous assurance are the proper dispositions for one who prays the Our Father.
2798 We can invoke God as “Father” because the Son of God made man has revealed him to us. In His Son, through Baptism, we are incorporated and adopted as sons of God.
2799 The Lord’s Prayer brings us into communion with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ. At the same time it reveals us to ourselves (cf GS 22 # 1).
2800 Praying to our Father should develop in us the will to become like him and foster in us a humble and trusting heart.
2801 When we say “Our” Father, we are invoking the new covenant in Jesus Christ, communion with the Holy Trinity, and the divine love which spreads through the Church to encompass the world.
2802 “Who art in heaven” does not refer to a place but to God’s majesty and his presence in the hearts of the just. Heaven, the Father’s house, is the true homeland toward which we are heading and to which, already, we belong.
2857 In the Our Father, the object of the first three petitions is the glory of the Father: the sanctification of his name, the coming of the kingdom, and the fulfillment of his will. the four others present our wants to him: they ask that our lives be nourished, healed of sin, and made victorious in the struggle of good over evil.
2858 By asking “hallowed be thy name” we enter into God’s plan, the sanctification of his name – revealed first to Moses and then in Jesus – by us and in us, in every nation and in each man.
2859 By the second petition, the Church looks first to Christ’s return and the final coming of the Reign of God. It also prays for the growth of the Kingdom of God in the “today” of our own lives.
2860 In the third petition, we ask our Father to unite our will to that of his Son, so as to fulfill his plan of salvation in the life of the world.
2861 In the fourth petition, by saying “give us,” we express in communion with our brethren our filial trust in our heavenly Father. “Our daily bread” refers to the earthly nourishment necessary to everyone for subsistence, and also to the Bread of Life: the Word of God and the Body of Christ. It is received in God’s “today,” as the indispensable, (super – ) essential nourishment of the feast of the coming Kingdom anticipated in the Eucharist.
2862 The fifth petition begs God’s mercy for our offences, mercy which can penetrate our hearts only if we have learned to forgive our enemies, with the example and help of Christ.
2863 When we say “lead us not into temptation” we are asking God not to allow us to take the path that leads to sin. This petition implores the Spirit of discernment and strength; it requests the grace of vigilance and final perseverance.
2864 In the last petition, “but deliver us from evil,” Christians pray to God with the Church to show forth the victory, already won by Christ, over the “ruler of this world,” Satan, the angel personally opposed to God and to his plan of salvation.
2865 By the final “Amen,” we express our “fiat” concerning the seven petitions: “So be it”.