Malankara World

40 Questions Answered

By H.G. Dr Geevarghese Mar Osthathios

QUESTION 33. What is the meaning of the Lord's Prayer?

It is the model prayer in which God is addressed as 'Our Father' and not as 'my Father' and the basic needs of all of humanity are submitted before God in solidarity with them. The three petitions for God's glory are followed by four petitions for man's needs, namely provision, pardon, protection and preservation. All these are in the first person plural and the first person singular does not appear in the whole prayer.

The invocation and the doxology imply that the Father Who art in heaven has kingship over his kingdom, power over our weakness and all the glory for Himself. It is a proletarian prayer asking daily bread for all of humanity and not yearly provisions for any or daily cake for the one who prays. 'Give us this day our daily bread' means: 'Lord, divide all the bread of all the world for all the people of all the world and give all the people justly without giving any more than one's share.' This daily bread includes food, clothing, shelter, medicine, education, work, and spiritual food. No one has any right to enjoy luxury when fellowmen are deprived of these minimum necessities of life.

But provision without pardon of sins will not be sufficient. Yet we must not preach pardon to the empty stomach without feeding them, but give provision and pardon their due places in the totality of human existence. The only conditional prayer in the whole prayer is the prayer for pardon; 'Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.' The pardon of the Lord cannot be appropriated by an un-pardoning hard heart and so we must forgive those who have offended us before praying this prayer.

Preservation from the Evil One is necessary for a victorious Christian life. No selfish person can pray this prayer and so all of us are unworthy to offer this noblest of all prayers ever taught to humanity. The Name, Kingdom and Will of the Lord will be glorified if we become worthy to offer this proletarian prayer by simpler life-style and absolute trust in our Common Father who wants to provide for all without discrimination Jesus Christ, make us worthy to offer this prayer sincerely and truly.

Table of Contents: Sec 1 (Q1-18) | Sec 2 (Q 19-33) | Sec 3 (Q 34 - 40) | Previous Question | Next Question

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