Why Do You Pray the Our Father Prayer?


Quick Answer

The prayer that starts, "Our Father, who is in Heaven, hallowed be your name. . . ," also called The Lord's Prayer or the Disciple's Prayer, is the model for prayer that Jesus taught to his disciples, and thus is recognized for its authority from Christ. It has a long tradition in the Christian church and is memorized and recited as the model for corporate prayer.

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Full Answer

The Lord's Prayer is found in the New Testament of the Bible in Matthew 6:9-13, as well as in Mark 11:2-4. In Mark, the prayer is Jesus' response to a disciple requesting, "Lord, teach us to pray." It thus has the authority of Jesus as the model prayer for his followers. There is value in the fact that so many Christians know this prayer that it can easily be recited in a common worship service, bringing unity to the experience of corporate prayer. Many articles and sermons have been published analyzing each part of the prayer. Key points to consider include that the name of God is to be hallowed (treated with reverence as holy), that God's authority is recognized and that those praying the prayer should seek His will, and that they are to forgive others and also ask God to forgive them for their sins. The prayer also asks that God deliver the praying people from sin's temptations and from evil.

In the Matthew account, Jesus says that his followers should not pray with the purpose of showing off in public but rather to pray in private and that prayer should not be "babbling." He then states the Lord's Prayer as the contrasting way to pray. Some warn that reciting the Lord's prayer itself can become meaningless repetition, but that the model or outline it presents is of great value if done sincerely.

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