The Lord's Prayer: Pater Noster (Latin) Our Father An Interpretation
Why Is the "Our Father..." (Lord's Prayer) Important?
The "Lord's Prayer" or "Our Father..." taught by Jesus himself is a core prayer for Christians around the world. This prayer is the staple of Christianity as it is a Tribute to God, the Father (Yahweh).
This article will break down this prayer and we will reflect on the deeper meaning in each of the phrases that Jesus taught us to pray.
When we pray this prayer we should reflect on our life situation and be greatful for what we have. We ask God to protect us and provide for us, forgive us and help us to forgive others. The Lord's Prayer is the key to Christian faith.
The Lord's Prayer (Our Father...") In Latin
In the early days of the Catholic Church the "Our Father..." or "Lord's Prayer" was celebrated in Latin.
Although rarely used today, some churches still use this ancient version. This is the text of the prayer in the Latin language:
Pater noster qui es in caelis:
sanctificetur Nomen Tuum;
adveniat Regnum Tuum;
fiat voluntas Tua,
sicut in caelo, et in terra.
cotidianum da nobis hodie;
et dimitte nobis debita nostra,
sicut et nos
dimittimus debitoribus nostris;
et ne nos inducas in tentationem;
sed libera nos a Malo.
The Word of the Lord
The Lord's Prayer ("Our Father...") in English
The is the prayer in the English language:
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.
Breakdown of the "Our Father": The Lord's Prayer
We will now look at each line of the Lord's Prayer and what the inspired meaning of each line means. Remember, in Luke 11:1 the disciples asked Jesus how they should pray. Let's look at the scripture reading (NAB Ed.):
1 He was praying in a certain place, and when he had finished, one of his disciples said to him,'Lord, teach us to pray just as John taught his disciples.'"
2 He said to them, when you pray, say:
"Father, hallowed be thy name, your kingdom come.
3 Give us each day our daily bread
4 and forgive us our sins
for we ourselves forgive everyone in debt to us,
and do not subject us to the final test."
Our Father, Who Art in Heaven...
The opening statement is a direct reference to God the father. Jesus is teaching us to pray directly to God who resides in heaven.
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Hallowed Be Thy Name...
God's name is so holy and powerful that Jewish people do not even speak it aloud. Yahweh (YHVH in Hebrew) (commonly Jehovah) is roughly translated to "I Am" or "I Am Who Is". This is very deep. Most religious scholars agree that this is a very complex definition of who and what God is. God is Everyone; He is Everything; He Is Who Is. Many Christians have a difficult time wrapping their heads around the concept. God is everywhere; He is all things holy and sacred. He is Omnipotent and Omnivorous. In short, many believe that the name of God is so complex and holy that it can never be truly understood.
Thy Kingdom Come...
This is the promise of the future; that God will set up a new Kingdom on earth. No one (not even Christ) knows the day of the second coming and the time of Judgement. As Christians we are to repent and turn from sin should we want to be invited to God's Kingdom. This is the final fulfillment of the New Testament or New Covenant.
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Thy WIll Be Done On Earth As It Is In Heaven...
This is where Christians accept total dedication of themselves to God. We have no control over God's Will and Desire. We fully submit to Him and trust in His Word, Jesus Christ. Sometimes bad things happen to good people. This is not necessarily God's Will. Many Christians become angry with God when a loved one is taken away through tragedy. This is not necessarily God's Will. As humans, we have "free will" meaning that we can do what we want with certain consequence. God's Will is just that; we do not understand His intentions so we trust that His Will be done.
Give Us This Day Our Daily Bread...
As humans we need to eat to survive. There is a deeper meaning here however. Bread is the source of sustenance for survival. Historically, during the nomadic days of the Jewish people, they were fed Manna from Heaven (symbolic of the coming of Christ) which was a bread-like food that prevented the Israelites from starvation in the desert. We are asking God to provide us with physical bread but also with spiritual bread. After all, Man cannot live on bread alone!
Forgive Us Our Trespasses As We Forgive Those Who Trespass Against Us...
Forgiveness is the root of the message of Christianity. Forgiveness is also very hard for many people to do. When someone hurts us we tend to hold a grudge. True Christians pray for God to forgive us of our sins and we also pray for the strength to forgive others.
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Lead Us Not Into Temptation, But Deliver Us From Evil...
Even Jesus was tempted by the devil. In today's world there are temptations everywhere we turn. It is nearly impossible to walk anywhere, turn on the tv or do anything without being bombarded with sin and temptation.
As humans we have a natural desire for self satisfaction. We need to fight our own wills and desires and pray for God's Strength to not cave into these temptations that cause us to sin.
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