Friday, May 20, 2011

The Most Perfect Prayer on Earth

The Our Father is a perfect prayer. It comes from Jesus, which, in itself, makes it the most powerful prayer on earth. It is a humble prayer, yet beautiful and powerful in its simplicity. We come before our "Abba" as His beloved children, recognizing His omniscience and majesty while at the same time trustfully placing ourselves in his hands. After acknowledging his greatness we petition Him asking for 7 things:

1. In "hallowed be thy name" we are praising Him and asking that He be recognized as holy throughout the earth.
2. "Thy kingdom come" - we are asking for the coming of his kingdom and for his reign in our hearts
3. "Thy will be done" - we are praying that his will be done here on earth by each of us and that his holy
     will may "reign" as it does in heaven
4. "Give us this day our daily bread" - we are petitioning Him here that all our daily needs be met
5. "Forgive us our trespasses" - we are asking God for forgiveness of our sins. But it comes with a catch-
    because we pray "as we forgive those who trespass against us". To be forgiven you must also forgive
    others. Like father...like son.
6. "Lead us not into temptation" - we are asking him for the grace to resist the temptations of the world and
    to help us not sin.
7." Deliver us from evil" - here, we are asking the Lord to protect us and deliver us from the snares of
     Satan and the evil spirits.

This is the greatest prayer of all and we should pray it every single day, uniting it with Jesus' praying of the Our Father along with our brothers and sisters throughout the world. Can you imagine the changes that would come about if all people would recite this prayer with truth and from the heart? The entire world would change.

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.  Amen
                                

10 comments:

  1. Mary, This has always been my favorite formal prayer. As you pointed out here; it contains everything. Jesus Himself gave us this prayer so how could it not be perfection.
    There is so much for meditation in this prayer. I forget who the saint was that said she could only get as far as "Our Father Who art in heaven..." and could go no further because she was held in meditation.
    Thanks for sharing your reflection on this prayer.

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  2. You're right about there being a lot to meditate on in this prayer! Thanks for commenting!

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  3. Beautiful reflection. My hubby and I once did a teaching on this talk at a charismatic prayer meeting. In fact, it was the first time I ever spoke in public about being an incest survivor. I was speaking about forgiveness. Thanks for posting this.

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  4. Thank you, Colleen :) I very rarely write on this blog but it seemed like a fitting place for a post on The Our Father. I wish I could have heard your talk!

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  5. Hi Mary. I know one of your favourite saints is St Teresa of Avila. Have you read her meditations on the Our Father in her book, "The Way of Perfection"?

    I once heard of an order of monks whose only(?)prayer was the Our Father. They prayed it so well, all their needs were met. It just says everything necessary.

    Thank you for your post.

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  6. Sue,
    I'm not sure I have that book. I have "Interior Castles" and a few other books about her but I'm not sure about "The Way of Perfection". I may have read it many years ago but I don't remember it if I did. I'll have to order it on my Kindle - the saint books are either free or very inexpensive on there.

    As for the monks - I bet they did very well indeed! It's a perfect prayer!

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  7. The Lord's Prayer is being dissected now on Conversion Diary, an atheist becomes Catholic, and has others join in and give their version of each word of the prayer.

    Currently, they are up to "US", the first one, having done, Our Father Who Art In Heaven Hallowed Be They Name Thy Kingdom Come Thy Will Be Done On Earth As It Is In Heaven. Give US.......

    This link begins the first post:http://www.conversiondiary.com/2011/03/our-the-our-father-word-by-word.html

    I've enjoyed the series, contributed a comment here and there, and have only one concern. Many times in Bible Study, it is as if the blind lead the blind.
    "What do YOU think this means?"

    An authoritative trained person is needed to direct and lead toward discernment and wisdom, otherwise, there is a good chance of being swayed into non-Biblical thinking, thanks to the advice of a trusted friend.

    So "glean" what you can, and remember it is not enlightenment, just opinion. On the other hand, contemplating The Lord's Prayer is a source of Holy Wisdom in itself, eh?

    Mary, I can't go anywhere on the Internet without finding you.
    You are a prolific writer; I will remain but a prolific commenter.
    See you at the next stop!

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  8. Loved it! I need to slow down when i pray it and think about everything here. Thank you!

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  9. Hi Michael! I'm glad you enjoyed the post. The Our Father is rich in meditation material. God bless!

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  10. Keystone,
    Thanks for commenting! I will check out the link you suggested - it sounds very interesting and I love praying the Our Father very slowly and meditating on the words. Maybe I will be able to find new material to think about at Conversion Diary.

    I apologize for moderating your comment so late. I was having trouble with blogger and it never showed up on my dashboard. I just found it today in an e-mail. Good thing I have comments sent to my e-mail too!

    See you soon :)

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