In the Gospel, when you look at Matthew, you see that the Lord’s Prayer tends to embrace seven petitions. Of these seven, three ask for external blessings from our God, and the other four ask for a temporal blessing.
However, the latter- referring to the petitions asking for temporal blessings is a necessary antecedent for us to attain the external blessings.
For most of us, we recite the Our Father’s prayer every day; however, we may not be able to explain its meaning and how it reflects in our day-to-day life and our external life or life after death.
We need to understand the Our Father prayer so that we can speak to our Lord in a manner that is respectable and relate with Him in a manner that signifies a relationship of a “father and son.”
When you know about the Lord’s Prayer, you can be able to tell people more about it and how God wants us to pray. The Lord’s Prayer typically consists of two sections or parts. There is the introduction part, and then the petitions, which are seven.
Here we look at the introduction as well as the petitions and what they mean.
“Our Father in Heaven”
When the disciples ask Jesus, “Lord, teach us to pray,” He gives them the Lord’s Pray, the Our Father. It is the prayer of hope. The Lord wants us to learn how to pray, to learn how to present ourselves to Him through prayer.
The Lord’s Prayer shows that the prayer we need to pray to our Father has been given and taught to us the Lord Jesus has already done that.
The number “7” donating the seven petitions connotes completion, it suggests perfection in Scripture. And you can see, the Lord’s Prayer (Matthew 6:9-13; Luke 11:1-4) is a complete, yet perfect summary representing the divine teachings.
With the Lord’s Prayer, it opens with enough address to Our Father in Heaven. The opening address to our Lord reaffirms our belief that God is indeed our celestial Father – He is with us in spirit, and also above us in heaven.
The opening address of the Lord’s Prayer also unites all Christians into one community worldwide – a unified community of worshippers. When we pray, we refer to our Father as “our” and not “my,” which would individualize us. Let’s breakdown The 7 Petitions:
1.- “Hallowed Be Your Name”
Here, the term “to hallow” is taken to mean “to recognize as holy” – it means to treat or take something in a holy way. “Our Father in heaven, we recognize your name as holy” – this is how probably we would literary translate that part.
When you look at St. Gregory of Nyssa, he said, “of all good things the most important for me is that God’s name should be glorified in my life.” St. Gregory was a church father within Cappadocia in Asia Minor, and he wrote these words around 380 AD.
When we say “hallowed be Your Name,” it means we truly follow our Father – it means we respect our Father in our hearts.
In this first petition, we try to enter into what God plans for us as well as our salvation. Our life and prayer show the blessings of God’s name in this world, as well as our salvation. So, God’s name is holy, and it’s sanctified.
Look at (1 Samuel 2:2), it says, “There is no one holy like the Lord; there is no one besides you; there is no Rock like our God.”
Here we can see that God is the embodiment of sanctity. Christians understand that our Father, the Lord, should be praised above all else.
In Lord’s Prayer, we as Christians pray that the world shall recognize God’s name as the holy name – the world shall recognize God as a true God of all – He is the Creator and also the Ruler of the universe.
2.- “May Your Kingdom Come”
In this petition, we can say that it’s two-fold; it presents two meanings. First, when we pray, “May Your Kingdom come,” we are asking God to make His Kingdom take form on earth, that’s – here and now. This means that we pray so that we live in a world of hope, faith, and love.
You can read, (1 Corinthians 13:13), it says, “And now these three remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love.” The other meaning we derive from this second petition is that we pray God to fulfill His promise that’s new heaven as well as a new earth.
When this promise comes true, the faithful are going to live with the Lord in His external Kingdom. We will live as in the Holy City, where there is no pain, no crying, and no death.
3.- “May Your Will Be Done on Earth, as It Is In Heaven”
The will of the Lord is that we should praise Him and also love one another. God reigns from Heaven He rules with compassion, He rules with justice.
Read (Isaiah 30:18); it says, “Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you; therefore, he will rise to show you compassion. For the Lord is a God of justice.” Jesus tells us that we love God with all our heart, soul, as well as mind.
He also says that we love our neighbor as ourselves. When we pray this third petition, we show our selfless surrender to God’s will. We humbly ask God to provide us with the strength so that we can follow His will and not our will.
We ask Him to strengthen us that so we live in a life where we glorify Him and show compassion as well as justice to others.
4.- “Give Us today The Food we Need.”
When we pray, “Give us This Day our Daily Bread,” we are asking God to give us spiritual sustenance. You know that good food nourishes your body. Therefore Good News, as the Bible teaches us, nourishes the soul.
In the Bible (Deuteronomy 8:3), we are instructed, “man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord.”
Here, we pray that God gives us the courage, the fortitude, the strength to go out and spread His Message. We do this not only through our words but also through actions.
5.- “Forgive Us Our Sins, as We Have Forgiven Those Who Sin Against Us”
In this petition, it may be the most difficult to pray and follow. Here, there is a lot of wisdom. When you ask for forgiveness, which reflects on how you forgive others, it leads you to patience and grace rather than being transformative.
If you find that forgiving someone is proving difficult – and this happens to most us – we should know that the Bible teaches us that a good time when we can extend forgiveness is when we are praying.
This is the time when our minds, as well as hearts, are together with God. See (Mark 11:25) – it says, “And when you stand praying if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.”
If we choose to replace our resentment with forgiveness, it reflects God’s love and mercy within our actions. This way, we can walk confidently toward our God.
6.- “And Don’t Let Us Yield to Temptation.”
Did you know that temptation can cause you to sin and lead you away from God?
Our Lord doesn’t lead us toward sinning; we sin on our own since God, our Creator gave us free will. However, because our God is faithful, he promises to give us a way out of temptations we may face.
You can read this in (1 Corinthians 10:13). It says, “And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.”
Here we acknowledge that the free will that God has given us brings our weaknesses. So that we can be able to overcome the weakness arising from the free will granted by the Lord, we pray Him to extend His guidance over us and give us the discernment that can help us stay away from temptation and sin.
7.- “But Rescue Us from the Evil One”
With this petition, it shows the many times we tend to fall prey to sin and temptation. When we are in entanglement, if we constantly seek God, He is going to answer us and get us away from our fears.
Here we ask God to reach down to us and liberate us from the grip of evil during those times when we are caught up in sin.
The Lord’s Pray isn’t just handy guidance to help us on what to pray, it’s a moral compass that helps reveal the good ways to go before our Father in asking for His guidance as well as protection.
It focuses on making us remain good and faithful servants; we accept His will, we revere Him, we know His Word, and we love each other by forgiving those who wrong us, and lastly, we resist evil.