O is for Our Father

O is for Our Father #atozchallenge @fillpraycloset on Twitter

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*

Matthew 6:7-13

O is for Our Father #atozchallenge
“Thy Will Be Done” by Morgan Weistling

“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? 

Our Father #atozchallenge @fillpraycloset on twitter

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.

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36 thoughts on “O is for Our Father

  1. We protestants call it the Lord’s Prayer. I prayed it aloud every night with my mother as a little girl. It was part of the bedtime schtick and I never gave it much thought. I loved singing it as an adult. I haven’t said it for a while. You give, as always, a healthy dose of food for thought. Not ever a small morsel, California style snack here… no way. Instead a hearty full bodied meal. I appreciate it. 🙂

    Julie Jordan Scott
    The Bold Writer from A to Z

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    1. We call in the Lord’s Prayer too (especially when we pray the Divine Office) – it just wouldn’t match the letter of the day! We also sing it at mass as well. I never give a small morsel because I’m ALWAYS starving 😉

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  2. I was discussing the Our Father/Lord’s Prayer with friends the other day. For them it has become rote and they did not care for the “mechanical” feel to it. I shared that for me it is so much more. I can’t explain the feelings or the intensity with words how I feel when I truly pray the prayer. I guess that can be said of any prayer, but this is one of the “learned prayers” that I get that feeling of intensity that I don’t get with others. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. I think this is partly due to the busyness of life – and probably not knowing that each line of this prayer is FULL of so much to contemplate.

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  3. At all our family reunions, get-togethers, dinners, etc this is our prayer we say before our meals. Conjures up a passel of memories & good times. 🙂

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    1. We say two prayers before we eat – well the boys do:

      Alex says: Bless us, O Lord, and these Thy gifts we are about to receive, from Thy bounty through Christ our Lord, Amen.
      Gabriel then says: God is great, God is good. We thank Him for our food. Amen.

      Very sweet!

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  4. This is also my go to prayer along with the Hail Mary. Do you raise your hands in Mass for the Our Father? Does your church sing the words or recite them?

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    1. Me too – although I learned the Hail Mary only a could of years ago. Can you imagine? I don’t raise my hands for the Our Father. I was instructed that, that is to be left for the priest alone, acting in persona Christi, collecting our prayers and offering them up to God. We do sing the Our Father sometimes, although I prefer to speak it!

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      1. That’s interesting – we all join hands as a congregation, row to row too. If you can’t reach the next person (say 2 rows back) you lift your hand palm up. I never have asked Father about this for sure, but I sense a real bond, truly in communion with one another as the Body. Beautiful 🙂

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  5. Thank you for today’s reminder that I needed to stop for a moment and say those words. To pray. Things have been so rough lately and I just have no energy, positive or otherwise. I’m doing my best to get through.

    It was my first prayer as well. I remember kneeling at the edge of my bed with my mom every night saying those words. Now, I just pause where ever I am and say them. I’ve never been taught to pray any other way and when I just ask God for help I feel so selfish and unworthy. But, I still try.

    Again, thank you.

    Jamie Dement (LadyJai)
    My A to Z
    Caring for My Veteran

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    1. He wants you to ask. He wants you to come to Him with everything, anger, happiness, sadness, fear, doubt, joy. Just turning to Him is all he asks. I am praying for you, still 🙂

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  6. I memorized the Lord’s Prayer in the whole King James’ version–thees and thous and thy. I wonder if the modernization of language creates any rifts in relate-ability with non-believers?

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    1. Good question. I’ll ask my husband (he’s traveling at the moment). He’s the closest non-believer I know! 🙂

      I think, regardless of the modernization, it’s the message that’s being sent that resonates. The scene that is set for us to draw upon when we need it most.

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  7. I went to Catholic rosary before a funeral recently at it was very comforting to hear the the repeated prayers… I can understand why the Our Father is such a powerful prayer especially when needing to surrender.

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    1. The Hail Mary is a wonderful prayer. My favorite mysteries are actually the Sorrowful. I get to pray the Lord’s passion, carrying of the cross and crucifixion while praying the Hail Mary and the Our Father. We pray this every day during Lent (as you know). I just love it. Basic but so nourishing.

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    1. It’s not my version – but what’s written in the Bible I use. Translation – that’s all. The prayer that I say everyday is the same one we all say! Debtors! I’ve seen that too!!

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  8. As much as I love the Our Father, I find that my “go to” prayer is the Hail Mary. I guess it’s because my grandma and my mom always prayed to the Blessed Mother for her intersession that it’s just engraved in my soul 🙂 One thing that I don’t like—singing the Our Father in church. I prefer to just say it and not sing it. I used to like it, but now I don’t. Ask me in 5 years and maybe I’ll like it again 🙂

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