Here we discuss the meaning of the prayer “OUR FATHER.” It’s one thing that we memorize this familiar prayer, but it’s another to understand it. So, just as the apostles asked Jesus how to pray, let’s ask Him to help us how to understand this prayer more.
First, we talked about how this prayer is two things: relational and revolutionary.
Relational because it shows the intimate relationship that Jesus has to the Father. It is a proactive prayer which helps nurture our relationship with God every time we pray it. Unlike the usual prayers which are reactive, where something has to happen first before we pray.
Revolutionary because it is a prayer that is not “me” focused. We are all used to praying for ourselves, but this prayer focuses on God and on others. It is patterned from the two most important commandments: Love God and Love one another. Also, as we pray this, we are dethroning ourselves as “King of our lives,” and putting Jesus as King.
Then, we discussed this prayer for its two parts:
The first part focuses on God. On praying to God as our father with that kind of personal relationship. On praising God for His Holy name. And on allowing God to use Jesus and us to bring His kingdom, to bring heaven down to earth. We would normally say that our goal in life is to bring other people to heaven, but our God-mission is actually to bring heaven to them. Expand His territory from Heaven to Earth, from His heart to ours.
The second part focuses on others. This prayer brings forth this radical generosity, which makes us share our blessings with others. It also reminds us the importance of asking for forgiveness and learning how to give it when asked of. And it allows us to acknowledge the presence of evil, and letting God take it from us according to His will.
My hope now is that, whenever you pray the Our Father, try to pray it while remembering what each part and each line means. I also hope that you grow more in your prayers, and that your relationship with God grows more, too.
[Disclaimer: This was published in the Feast Bulletin last July 19, 2020]