Matthew 6:9-13 (NAB) is the account of how Jesus taught the disciples to pray:
“This is how you are to pray:
Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread;
and forgive us our debts,
as we forgive our debtors;
and do not subject us to the final test,
but deliver us from the evil one.”
Another, more familiar translation of this prayer:
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.
In Matthew 6:9-13, Jesus teaches us how we are to pray. No discussion on prayer would be complete without this key teaching. The Catechism of the Catholic Church points out that Tertullian teaches: The Lord’s Prayer “is truly the summary of the whole gospel.” (CCC, 2761) So many teachings are packed into The Lord’s Prayer: praise, worship, kingdom living, petitioning God, forgiveness, temptation, God’s saving power, and our relationship with God. All of these topics and more are addressed in this prayer.
When Jesus took the time to teach His disciples, and us, how to pray, He showed us how important prayer really is to our existence. Jesus was straight-forward with this teaching; He did not use a parable or story to teach about prayer. In fact, Jesus did the opposite—He kept it plain and simple. At the same time, we can see that Jesus covered many things in this short prayer. This shows us that our needs are important to God. Our debts and debtors are important to God. We matter. And because we matter to God, He wants to hear from us daily.
What will your prayer be today?