I’m wondering what the Church teaches about whether the Lord’s Prayer is an *outline *of how we should say a prayer or whether it is the particular prayer that is intended by Jesus. I know we say it as if it were the words that were intended, however I woke up wondering this this morning. I’m wondering about any Church teachings and also about thoughts from you.
Take a look here:
I believe it can be seen as both. Obviously the Church sees it as a prayer to be prayed regularly. But, also it can be used as an template for further meditative prayer. Some would argue that it was meant only as a framework for a prayer, but why attempt to alter the very beautiful words of Christ unless you are going to expand on them in greater meditation? When I want to hear great theatre I dont recreate King Lear or Hamlet , although some have tried and mostly failed. Instead I would rather watch the actors play the words of Shakespeare. Why recreate what THE Master gave us in the Our Father?
I see it as both.
It seems clear from the text that it is an example and a very real prayer that we should pray. If Jesus thought it the best example of prayer then that is good enough for me.
But it of course offers a great outline for our own prayers too. We can prayer however and whenever we want to. Formal prayers are a good way to help us along.
This is wonderful!!
Regarding the portion I high-lighted, I am hoping what I am about to share will illustrate the point.
A few years ago, I was in a very difficult spot spiritually. I was trying to go to daily Mass, and I was finding myself increasingly annoyed at the behavior of some of my fellow church go-ers. One of the things I had become aware of was the way the ‘Our Father’ always seemed to be rushed, rote, and without meaning. It bothered me and I started to make the conscious effort to slow down.
Well a few days later, as I was praying it at Mass, it hit me, like a punch in the gut,
“forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us…”
"WHOA!!! :bigyikes: What did I just ask God??!! To forgive me as I forgive others?!! Do I REALLY want him to do that??!! "
Needless to say, this revelation precipitated much meditative prayer, and my next appointment, with both my spiritual director and confessor, where both very interesting. :whacky:
Thank you for your answers. It sounds like you think that the Lord’s Prayer is both a prayer in itself and also an outline of how we should pray. Is this right? Then why does the Church seem to say that it is only a prayer in itself?
After this manner therefore pray ye…
The Church is right, because that is what Jesus said in Matthew 6:9. He did not say, ‘use this as a guide to model your prayers’. Martin Luther said that, and the protestants after him diluted even further saying, ‘its just a guide’, because they abhor anything that a Catholic does.