St. Augustine said that every prayer we could ever think of is already in the Lord’s Prayer. The Our Father is like spiritual cross-training: in its seven petitions, we hit all the major “muscle groups” we need for a strong connection with God, ourselves, and our neighbors.
On this Father’s Day, we revisit a meditation on the Our Father that came to me one day in prayer. Join me on an informal stroll through this most powerful prayer — the one Jesus himself gave us — as we ponder how it applies to the stresses we’re facing today.
Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name.
Lord of heaven and earth, your name is above every other name in the universe. You are the Lord of all. Grant me the grace to revere everything about you because your name encompasses all that you are. Grant me the grace to hold in reverence everything you have created, for you promise us that it is good. Grant me the grace to cling to the good and always be filled up by the goodness you have put in me and in every other human being and in all creation.
Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
I want to want your will, Father. Help me to realize at every moment, especially this precious moment, that your will is working powerfully in me. I invite you, Lord, to work your glorious will in me throughout this whole day.
Give us this day our daily bread.
“I am the bread of life,” your son reminds me. Can I be like Mary and choose the better part today? Even in my busiest times, will you place his heart close to mine so I may feed from the only nourishment my soul needs?
Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.
Lord, forgiveness is hard for me. My pride is pricked by so many evils. Let me stay close to you, Father, and soak in your mercy so that I may show your mercy to those who so greatly test my charity and patience by unjust words and actions. Blessed Mother, who stood resolutely at the foot of the Cross, trusting that God would bring the greatest mercy out of the greatest injustice, pray for me.
Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil.
Lord it seems that I am surrounded by the evil that has been unleashed on the world. And I am ambushed by my own unloving thoughts and desires. Be my refuge today, Lord. When I am tempted to answer evil with evil, focus my mind on the good I can do in that moment, so that your love becomes the driving force for every thought, word, and action throughout this day.
For thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory now and forever.
Lord, draw my mind to your glorious purpose for me and let my thoughts and imagination find their peace and happiness in you alone. Thank you, Father, for calling me in this moment to unite with your son’s Sacred Heart in prayer. I love you. Be with me always.