The Lord’s Prayer, also called the Our Father, is a central Christian prayer which, according to the New Testament, Jesus taught as the way to pray:
- Pray then in this way … (Matthew 6:9 NRSV)
- When you pray, say … (Luke 11:2 NRSV)
In fact, there are two versions of the Lord’s Prayer. They are recorded in the gospels: a longer form within the Sermon on the Mount in the Gospel of Matthew, and a shorter form in the Gospel of Luke when “one of his disciples said to him, ‘Lord, teach us to pray, as John taught his disciples.'” (Luke 11:1 NRSV). The Matthean version is spoken by Jesus early in his ministry in Galilee; and the Lucan version one year later, very likely in Judea.
So the first three of the seven petitions in Matthew address God; the other four are related to human needs and concerns. The Matthew account alone includes the “Your will be done” and the “Rescue us from the evil one” (or “Deliver us from evil”) petitions. Both original Greek texts contain the adjective epiousios, which does not appear in any other classical or Koine Greek literature; while controversial, “daily” has been the most common English-language translation of this word. Protestants usually conclude the Lord’s Prayer with a doxology; a later addendum appears in Matthew’s manuscripts.
The Lord’s Prayer (The Text)
Slightly Modernized AV/KJV Version
Our Father, who art in heaven,
Hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come,
Thy will be done on earth,
as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts,
as we forgive our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil:
For thine is the kingdom,
and the power, and the glory, forever.
Amen. (Luke 11: 2-4)
Pater Noster Church
So on my private tour of Jerusalem, I like to take my guests to show them the Church of Pater Noster. According to a tradition that dates back to the time of the Crusaders, this is the spot where Jesus had taught his disciples Our Lord’s Prayer.