Updated: Apr 12
The Lord’s Prayer (Pater Noster)
The Lord’s prayer is the most perfect prayer. It’s the only prayer that was given to us directly from Jesus Christ, and it consists of literally everything we need, in the order that we need them.
Jesus gave this prayer directly to disciples who asked him to teach them how to pray. His response was “When you pray, say,
Our Father, Who art in Heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom comes; 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 evil.”
- Luke 11:1 - 4
Jesus knew in his human heart all that we need, and everything that we should ask God (our Father) for. In his greatness, he gave us this prayer. In fact, this is the only prayer that Jesus Christ himself gave us, and it is perfect in every way.
In this short prayer, everything we will ever need is addressed. Through this prayer, there is no trial, or temptation that we can not prevail against.
These are the most important things you need to know about the Lord's Prayer.
When we say Our Father, we are referring to God himself. Keep in mind we are not addressing Jesus, or the saints or angels, but God Himself! This means when we say our Father, we are personally addressing the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Jesus tells us through the gospels that when we ask the Father in Heaven for the Holy Spirit (which provides a wealth of gifts and guidance to solve our problems throughout our mission) we will indeed receive it. Jesus said to his disciples (of which you are one).
“And I tell you, ask and you will receive; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives; and the one who seeks, finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.”
(Luke 11:9 -12)
Thy Will be Done
Through prayer, we can discern what is the will of God. We do this by saying “your will be done”
So often our human hearts make plans, and our human brains forget that it is not our plans that should be done, but rather the will of God that should be done. (Proverbs 19:21).
When we pray “thy will be done” we are in fact humbling ourselves for our own selfish ambitions, and opening ourselves to allow God to move in our lives for His glory, and not for our own.
Give us this Day our Daily Bread
When we say give us this day our daily bread, we are praying in faith that everything we need both physically and spiritually will be faithfully given to us.
But this does not mean that God wants us to live an idle life doing nothing and waiting on all of our needs to be met, rather he wants to relieve us from the persistent worries and anxieties that plague our lives.
It’s also important to note that Man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that precedes from the mouth of God (Matthew 4:4). The bread of life is the word of God. When we say, “give us our daily bread”, we are actively asking God to make known his words in our heart, in our lives, and in the way we serve others.
Our daily bread comes in the form of the biblical readings of each day, in the psalms and hymns that we hear and sing, and sometimes through the word and actions of family, friends, and people we meet and even through nature. It’s up to you to be attuned and open to receiving the daily bread.
When we say “Forgive Us our Sins”
We are acknowledging that we are sinners, and although Christ died on a cross to save us of our sins, we cannot fully receive this salvation unless we forgive the sins of others. When we fail to forgive those who hurt us, our hearts harden. When our hearts are hardened, it is impossible for us to receive God’s love.
Forgiving others is a crucial requirement of a healthy life in Christ, but ironically forgiveness is often impossible on our own, but with God all things are possible.
Deliver Us from Evil
The petition to deliver us from evil sets us up to strengthen ourselves against the traps and snares of evil. Evil is everywhere and lies in wait to engulf us. When we pray the Our Father, we ask continuously for God to deliver us from that evil by giving us a spirit of discernment, meaning the ability to distinguish between good and bad.
It’s the holy spirit that leads us to be able to distinguish and discern trials, people, situations, and the like. Temptation leads to sin, and sometimes even death. This petition of the lord’s prayer in my opinion is the most important one of all. Temptation sometimes looks beautiful and appears to be good, when in truth it leads to suffering and death. When we pray this petition, we are asking God for discernment and the ability to avoid falling into traps and snares set by the evil in the world that wants to consume us.
Keep in mind that
God is faithful and will never allow you to face any trial that you are not able to handle. When we pray the Our Father we are strengthened in the knowledge that God will indeed deliver us from all evil.
When we say, deliver us from evil. We are asking protection from God, so that the enemy (the father of lies, the originator of murder) may not surprise us. When we petition to God to deliver us from evil, we are opening ourselves for God to be for us. Because when God is for us, who can be against us.
** It’s important to end this prayer by saying Amen (meaning so be it) which seals the prayer.
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.
Qui es in caelis,
Sanctificetur nomen tuum.
Adveniat regnum tuum.
Fiat voluntas tua, sicut in caelo et in terra.
Panem nostrum quotidianum da nobis hodie,
Et dimitte nobis debita nostra sicut et nos dimittimus debitoribu nostris.
Et ne nos inducas in tentationem,
Sed libera nos a malo.
When to say the Prayer
Traditionally the Our Father (also called the Lord's prayer) was prayed 3 times a day. In modern times it is prayed during each Catholic Mass.
When Praying the Rosary
The Our Father is the first prayer of the rosary and is subsequently prayed 6 times during the rosary (once after each decade).
At Bedtime with your family
I personally pray the Lord prayer each night with my family because where 2 or more are gathered in His name, I know he will be there too (Matthew 18:20). Praying at night as a family is also a good way to instill this important prayer into children while they are young, keep marriages healthy and perpetuate a closeness of family members.
Anytime you feel overwhelmed, anxious, stress, sad, or the like.
I noticed from a very young age that the Lord’s Prayer has an instant calming effect and have learned to pray it during times of hardship.
When battling evil and exorcism
As mentioned above when we say the Our Father we are petitioning God himself to deliver us from evil. This prayer has been used for many centuries during exorcisms and as a way to cleanse the evil from our lives.
The Lord’s prayer is the most complete and most sincere prayer we could have ever hoped for. Use it daily.