When you pray the “Our Father”, do you understand what each phrase of the prayer really means? In the seventh grade religion class at St. Mary Magdalen Catholic School in Altamonte Springs, we have been analyzing and reflecting on what the Lord’s Prayer conveys.
Using the Catechism of the Catholic Church, paragraphs 2786 through 2853, we learned so much about this beautiful prayer. The relationship this prayer establishes is a filial one involving the Father and us, boys and girls. “Our” is a possessive, plural pronoun therefore it is a communal prayer and a symbol of unity. The prayer makes seven petitions. Our Religion teacher, Mrs. Gilda Brink, created a worksheet that organizes the seven petitions the prayer addresses, making it easy and a fun way to learn. The “Lord’s Prayer” is so detailed; I cannot even begin to tell you how much I learned from it.
My two favorite petitions from this prayer are “Hallowed be thy name” and “Give us this day our daily bread” because they send a message that God will always be with us. “Hallowed be thy name” is a reference to the honor and reverence due to God’s name. He reveals to us that His name is Father. In doing so, He restores man to His image, because now we are sons and daughters.
“Give us this our daily bread” really grabs my attention because it means that God will forever satisfy our spiritual and material hunger. That spiritual food is the Eucharist, which intimately bonds us with God. The Eucharist is Jesus, the Son of God, and when I consume the Eucharist, I am in total unity with the Father and the Son. The Body of Christ is a gift and we are so fortunate to receive it every Sunday and Wednesday, when the school goes to Mass.
St. Ignatius Loyola once said that we should “Pray as if everything depended on God and work as if everything depended on you.” I feel I have done my part in working hard to understand the true meaning of this prayer. Now I will pray with a deeper faith in knowing that everything depends on God.
The “Our Father” is a powerful prayer and there is depth to every phrase and every word. I encourage people to learn about the “Lord’s Prayer” and to appreciate how this prayer can affect your life.
Article written by Lauren L., a seventh grade student at St. Mary Magdalen Catholic School, Altamonte Springs.