He was praying in a certain place, and after he had finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, as John taught his disciples.” He said to them, “When you pray, say: Father, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come. Give us each day our daily bread. And forgive us our sins, for we ourselves forgive everyone indebted to us. And do not bring us to the time of trial.”
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved. http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translation
As a kid, I marveled that my parents could recite the Our Father without skipping a beat. But it wasn’t long before I could follow suit.
It took years, however, to know the prayer by heart.
Today, I look forward to praying the Our Father with my three young children before bed. Some nights, especially when the kids are still wired, we talk about what the prayer means.
“Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those…” gets real traction because it offers a chance to call out a sibling or a classmate for various infractions and to look holy by forgiving. Sometimes we make each other laugh by playing up the litany of things we have to put up with as forgiving and holy people!
The line that grabs me these days is “Give us this day, our daily bread…” It reminds me to be grateful for each day and for the bread that sustains us spiritually and physically. It also reminds me that “thy Kingdom come” is a call to action.
How can we better do God’s will and build the Kingdom today?
—Jeremy Langford is the director of communications for the Midwest Jesuits, founding editor of JesuitPrayer.org, and author of Seeds of Faith: Practices to Grow a Healthy Spiritual Life ©2007 Paraclete Press, Brewster, MA.
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.