Pillar IV

The Lord’s Prayer

The prayer of all prayers, the most excellent prayer of our Church, the "summary of the whole Gospel.." this is the Lord's Prayer. There are seven petitions. Jesus, God in the flesh, taught us this prayer. As Christians, we must say this it often, and with great contemplation. see #578-581

Carl Bloch, 1877
Our Father who art in heaven,
The creator of the universe, the creator of all things seen and unseen, the almighty God... we call him "Father." This is the kind of relationship we have with our God through Jesus Christ. We are his children. We humbly trust and rely on him as a child does his parents. see #582-586

The Seven Petitions see #587

hallowed be thy name
We want God's name to be praised, to be worshiped, to be esteemed above everything by all men. We want to live our lives in a way that witnesses to God's holiness, a holiness which is alive in us through Baptism see #588-589

thy kingdom come 
We are primarily asking for the Second Coming of Christ. He will come to judge the living and the dead, destroy all evil, and create a new heaven and earth. We are also asking that God's kingdom, the goodness already in and among us, be increased. see #590
 
thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. 
The will of God is that "all men be saved." We are asking God to unite all our efforts, our whole being, everything we've got... to his will. We are asking God to unite us fully to Christ, to Mary, to all the Saints so that we may all be one. We are asking for God to transform us into saints. see #591

Give us this day our daily bread
We are asking for more than just our material needs. We are also asking for our spiritual needs. In fact, the latter is more important. "Man does not live on bread alone but by every word that comes from the mouth of God." We are given this spiritual need above all in the Eucharist. see #592-593

and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us
Asking God for forgiveness acknowledges that we are sinners. We receive God's mercy through his Son and through the Sacraments. However, if we cannot forgive others, we will not be forgiven. see #594-595

and lead us not into temptation
We are asking God not to allow temptation into our lives. Temptation is anything that can lead us into sin. When we do face temptation, we ask not to be tested beyond what we can handle. We acknowledge our own weakness in this petition. see #596

but deliver us from evil.
We pray for deliverance from Satan, "the father of lies," "the deceiver of the whole world." We pray for peace and perseverance as we await the Second Coming. see #597

Amen.
So be it. Everything we just asked for, let it be set in stone. It is exactly what we desire from God. For this is the prayer the Lord himself has taught us. see #598
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Links above are from the Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic ChurchVatican.va. For a more thorough exploration of the Our Father, consult the Catechism of the Catholic Church. For an explanation which may be more engaging to youth and young adults, consider purchasing a copy of the YOUCAT (Youth Catechism).