The Our Father. For those of you unfamiliar with the prayer, that’s fine. I’ll give you some insight into what this prayer is and why it’s so special to me. For those of you familiar with this prayer, offer one up for me, will ya?
Yesterday, I offered to start a Novena for anyone who shared their intentions. You can still get in on that action!
What is it?
The Our Father, quite simply, is the perfect prayer. It’s how Jesus taught us to pray. How do I know? Says so, right in the bible. *taps mic*
“When you are praying, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do; for they think that they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.
“Pray then in this way:
Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name.
Your kingdom come.
Your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And do not bring us to the time of trial
but rescue us from the evil one.
Now, the actual prayer is slightly different. But breaking down this prayer, that is so easily rattled off, it really is perfect. We acknowledge God and venerate him understanding that it is His will we accept, not ours. Our daily bread can be a nod to daily communion, the trials and joys we undertake on this earth, daily. We also are reminded that we cannot expect forgiveness if we aren’t willing to forgive absolutely, as He does. We end with petitioning for protection from temptation, and sin. Now isn’t that something?
Why did I choose to share this particular “O” with you?
The Our Father is the first prayer I ever learned. It’s also the only prayer I ever knew growing up – with the exception of the scariest prayer on the planet (to me as a child): “Now I lay me down to sleep…if I die before I wake, I pray The Lord my souls to take”. Without the understanding of the prayer and why it was said, it terrified me. I digress.
The Our Father, for me, is a prayer of strength. When I am angry, tempted, worried it just starts within me and I find myself mouthing it to myself, subtly. I am so practiced in this prayer, that I often wake up in the middle of the night from a nightmare, half way through the prayer. It’s almost ingrained in me to pray when fear and anxiety strike. I think it’s the “thy will be done” part. I know that I really don’t have much control over the events of my life. None of us do. Even when I try to tell myself, I control, this or that, I think of the action preceding my “controlled” event and am always back at my lack of control.
Try it. Where do you end up?
For an even deeper look into the Our Father, take a stab at this from Conversion Diary. A word by word interpretation written by a ton of people. That’s a lot of perspective for ya, and further proof that this is a wonderfully rich, layered prayer.
Come back tomorrow to read all about my Catholic take on the letter P. I am blogging my way through the alphabet with others who are doing the same.
Please support the bloggers of the #AtoZchallenge by visiting, sharing or commenting. We have all worked long and hard to prepare these posts, some prepping for a couple of months, as we posted our regular schedule, took care of our children, went to work, had the flu…well, you get the idea.