THE LORD’S PRAYER
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 thine is the kingdom,
and the power, and the glory,
for ever and ever
Initial words on the topic from the Catechism of the Catholic Church teach that it “is truly the summary of the whole gospel.” The prayer is used by most Christian churches in their worship; with few exceptions, the liturgical form is the Matthean. Although theological differences and various modes of worship divide Christians, according to Fuller Seminary professor Clayton Schmit, “there is a sense of solidarity in knowing that Christians around the globe are praying together … and these words always unite us.”
In biblical criticism, the prayer’s absence in the Gospel of Mark together with its occurrence in Matthew and Luke has caused scholars who accept the two-source hypothesis (against other document hypotheses) to conclude that it is probably a logion original to Q.
“Our Father, which art in heaven”
This explains that God, the Father, rests in Heaven, and the plural word “Our” indicates that there are a group of God’s children who call him Father.
“Hallowed be thy Name;”
Former Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams explains this phrase as a petition that people may look upon God’s name as holy, as something that inspires awe and reverence, and that they may not trivialize it by making God a tool for their purposes, to “put other people down, or as a sort of magic to make themselves feel safe”.
“Thy kingdom come;”
“This petition has its parallel in the Jewish prayer, ‘May he establish his Kingdom during your life and during your days.’ In the gospels Jesus speaks frequently of God’s kingdom, but never defines the concept: “He assumed this was a concept so familiar that it did not require definition.”
“Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven:”
“Many people think our job is to get my afterlife destination taken care of, then tread water till we all get ejected and God comes back and torches this place. But Jesus never told anybody—neither his disciples nor us—to pray, ‘Get me out of here so I can go up there.’ His prayer was, ‘Make up there come down here.’ Make things down here run the way they do up there.” The request that “thy will be done” is God’s invitation to “join him in making things down here the way they are up there.”
“Give us this day our daily bread;”
Taken in the qualitative sense, it signifies what is necessary for life, and more broadly every good thing sufficient for subsistence. Taken literally (“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.”
“And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive them that trespass against us;”
“forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors” After the request for bread, Matthew and Luke diverge slightly. Matthew continues with a request for debts to be forgiven in the same manner as people have forgiven those who have debts against them. Luke, on the other hand, makes a similar request about sins being forgiven in the manner of debts being forgiven between people.
“And lead us not into temptation,”
A plea against hard tests described elsewhere in scripture, such as those of Job. It is also read as: “Do not let us be led (by ourselves, by others, by Satan) into temptations”. Since it follows shortly after a plea for daily bread (i.e., material sustenance), it is also seen as referring to not being caught up in the material pleasures given.
“But deliver us from evil:”
Translations and scholars are divided over whether the final word here refers to “evil” in general or “the evil one” (the devil) in particular.
“For thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory, For ever and ever. Amen.”
In a less lengthy form (“for yours is the power and the glory forever”), as a conclusion for the Lord’s Prayer (in a version slightly different from that of Matthew). Following the last line of the prayer, the priest sings “For thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory, of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, now and ever and unto ages of ages.”