In Matthew, the Our Father is part of the Sermon of the Mount, the opening verse of which states that the main listeners of Jesus are the disciples. In Luke, the Our Father is Jesus’ response to the disciples’ request that he teach them how to pray; it is the prayer of the disciples (11:1). The meaning and essence of the Lord’s Prayer can only be fully understood if one enters into a discipleship with Jesus.
The first three petitions of the Lord’s Prayer give God his due; only then do we turn to ourselves and our needs and desires. Prayer must never be an attempt to bend God’s will to our desires. Rather, in prayer, we submit our wills to the will of God.
The second part of the prayer deals with our essential needs, and the three spheres of time within which we move. It asks for daily bread (present), it asks for forgiveness (past), it asks for help in time of temptation (future). In these three short petitions, we lay the present, the past, and the future before our Father who is in heaven.
GOSPEL • MATTHEW 6:7-15
Jesus said to His disciples: “In praying, do not babble like the pagans, who think that they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them. Your Father knows what you need before you ask him.
“This is how you are to pray: ‘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.’
“If you forgive others their transgressions, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you do not forgive others, neither will your Father forgive your transgressions.”
SOURCE: “365 Days with the Lord 2021,” ST. PAULS, 7708 St. Paul Rd., SAV, Makati City (Phils.); Tel.: 632-895-9701; Fax 632-895-7328; E-mail: [email protected]; Website: http://www.stpauls.ph.