The Our Father Prayer is the actual way Our Lord taught the Apostles how to pray. The only prayer we have taught to us by Our Lord Himself as a way to petition the Father for our needs.
It is known as the perfect prayer because it was taught by Jesus as the way to pray to Our Father in heaven. It contains 7 petitions and covers basically any petition we would pray for in any other prayer. In it we pray for the glory of God the Father, spiritual and material well being and also for others.
The Our Father is a prayer of perfect and unselfish love, of praise, petition and contrition.
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. Amen.
First, "hallowed be Thy name" is first and foremost so we are conscious of the Glory of God being first in all things.
Second, 'Thy Kingdom come" is a petition that all here on earth may recognize God as the King of all creation and of Heaven, that His Kingdom may spread across the whole earth, and that we may enjoy His Kingdom in the world to come.
Third, 'Thy Will be done on earth as it is in Heaven" we beseech God that all men may follow and obey His as readily and faithfully as those who are already with Him in Heaven, the Saints and Angels.
Fourth, "Give us this day our daily bread" we learn we are to ask for our daily needs and are permitted, nay even expected to ask for our temporal provisions, so long as they are not contrary to the Will of God.
Fifth, "and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us" This is a loaded one! We are asking God to forgive us according to how we forgive our neighbors. Ouch! are we always so generous in forgiving as we should be? Do we still feel offended or hurt? From now on let's think twice about holding a grudge or not quite letting go all the way.
Sixth, "and lead us not into temptation" This is a petition to beg the graces necessary to avoid temptation and sin which come from the world, the flesh and the devil. We must keep ourselves watchful and be aware of the pitfalls which await us if we don't ask for the graces. Watch and pray.
Seventh, "but deliver us from evil" this is a prayer petition to give us the grace and protection necessary for not only our bodily needs, but our spiritual needs too.
Now that you have read through the petitions of the Our Father prayer, when you meditate on it during your Rosary, it will mean so much more! The absolute perfection of this prayer could only have been composed by Someone Divine! ;-)
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