Reina is a cadle catholic. She studied in Catholic schools from kindergarten until high school. She enjoys teaching children's catechism.
Prayer is essential to the Christian life. It is like oxygen for the human soul. In the Gospel, Jesus taught his disciples how to pray. It is called the Lord's Prayer.
The Lord's Prayer is famous among many Christians in the world. Fondly referred to as the Our Father, Catholic children learn this common prayer in summer catechism classes. I was one of those fortunate kids who memorized these common prayers.
But I couldn't be too proud of my childish achievement. There is much more to prayer than just a repeated recitation of words. Consider these five benefits of praying the Lord's Prayer for spiritual growth.
1. It helps us express our desires before God.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church takes the words of Saint Thomas Aquinas about the Lord's Prayer. He is one of the greatest theologians and most influential teachers of the Christian faith. He is named a Doctor of the Church.
Saint Thomas Aquinas said that the Lord's Prayer is the most perfect of prayers. We not only learn to ask for what we desire but also how we should ask for it. The Lord's Prayer contains the ideal structure for our Christian prayer.
2. The Holy Spirit will come into our hearts.
Luke tells the story of how Jesus taught us the Lord's Prayer. Jesus had finished praying when one of his disciples asked him to teach them to pray. The Lord responded by giving them the words of the 'Our Father.'
The Catechism explains that Jesus gives us not only the words, but he also gives the Holy Spirit that enables us to pray like children of God. The Lord's Prayer is indeed a divine gift. It is the Word of God that sends the Holy Spirit into our hearts.
3. We can unite our prayers with the Church.
There is a reason Jesus taught us to say 'Our Father' and not 'my father.' The Lord's Prayer is liturgical. It is essential in the significant hours of the Divine Office and the three sacraments of Christian initiation. The faithful recite it in the Holy Mass.
We may say that the Lord's prayer is universal because it speaks of the needs of all people. The Catechism quotes Saint John Chrysostom saying that Jesus teaches us to make prayer in common for all brethren. The Our Father offers petitions for the entire Church.
The Lord's Prayer is the ultimate prayer of the Church. It reveals our eternal destiny as the people of God. When we pray the Lord's Prayer in the Holy Eucharist, we express the hope of entering the Kingdom of God and enjoying the heavenly banquet.
4. It teaches us how to live our Christian lives.
Tertullian was another one of the most influential minds in the early days of the Church. The Catechism mentions his statement about the Lord's Prayer. He said that the Lord's Prayer is truly the summary of the whole gospel.
Jesus teaches us the 'Our Father' after he proclaims the Kingdom of God. The Catechism explains that the Sermon on the Mount is a teaching for life, and the 'Our Father' is prayer. Jesus taught us to ask for this new life by praying to the Father with these words.
When we recite the 'Our Father,' we proclaim the good news of the Kingdom of God. It is a practical prayer to receive the grace we need to live Christian lives.
5.We learn to call on God and receive mercy.
Praying the Lord's Prayer is an essential part of the liturgical tradition of the Church. Early Christian communities pray the Lord's Prayer three times a day. If you've ever been to a seminary or convent, you will hear them say this prayer in morning and evening prayers.
The Lord's Prayer is fraternal. It teaches us to call on God as our Father through the words that our Lord Jesus Christ taught us. In Baptism and Confirmation, the prayer signifies new birth into the divine life. We are born anew into a new life in Christ.
When the Church prays the Lord's Prayer, the newborn people of God receive the Father's mercy.
Religion and spirituality are challenging topics. I don't claim authority on the subject. Since I am not an expert in any of these fields, I searched online for credible sources on the matter.
The video below is a quick presentation of the Introduction of the Lord's Prayer in the Catechism of the Catholic Church. I am not associated with the makers of this short film. I just found this video pretty helpful.
Watch this video to learn more about the Lord's Prayer. I also include a few links to beautiful renditions of the Lord's Prayer in different languages. I hope you enjoy listening.
Different Tunes of the 'Our Father'
- Amahan Namo - song by Voices of Praise of Carmel | Spotify
Listen to Amahan Namo on Spotify. Voices of Praise of Carmel · Song · 2009.
- Ama Namin - song by Bukas Palad Music Ministry | Spotify
Listen to Ama Namin / Sapagkat Sa'Yo Ang Kaharian on Spotify. Bukas Palad Music Ministry · Song · 2002.
- The Lords Prayer - song by Andrea Bocelli, The Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square | Spotify
Listen to The Lords Prayer on Spotify. Andrea Bocelli · Song · 2009.
- Pater noster - song by Cantori Gregoriani | Spotify
Listen to Pater noster on Spotify. Cantori Gregoriani · Song · 2012.
- Pater Noster (Gregoriano) - song by Musica Sacra | Spotify
Listen to Pater Noster (Gregoriano) on Spotify. Musica Sacra · Song · 2015.
- Our Father - Lord's Prayer in Hebrew - song by David Kocijan | Spotify
Listen to Our Father - Lord's Prayer in Hebrew on Spotify. David Kocijan · Song · 2020.
- Matthew 6 NRSVCE - Bible Gateway - Sermon on the Mount
Part of Jesus' sermon on the mount where he gives us the words of the Lord's prayer that we pray today.
- Luke 11:1-9 NRSVCE - The Lord’s Prayer - Bible Gateway
When Jesus finished praying, a disciple came and asked him to teach them to pray. Here, Jesus teaches us to pray 'Our Father.'
- Catechism of the Catholic Church - PART 4 SECTION 2 ARTICLE 1
Second Edition English Translation of the Catechism of the Catholic Church with Index, Cross-references and Search Utility
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2022 Reina Mendoza