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What is the most fundamental Christian prayer in the Bible?


Carl Bloch (1834–1890)

Philip Kosloski - published on 04/29/24

There is one prayer that stands out as the most fundamental Christian prayer in the entire Bible. It is a prayer that is the most Christian of them all.

There are hundreds, if not thousands of prayers in the Bible. The Old Testament is full of prayers, especially the entire book of Psalms.

Even the New Testament contains a variety of prayers, some that are attributed to the Blessed Virgin Mary, while others are from Jesus himself.

It is from Jesus that we get the most fundamental Christian prayer in the Bible, as Christ is the one who teaches it.

The Lord’s Prayer

The Catechism of the Catholic Church begins its section on the Our Father explaining its central role in Christianity:

Jesus “was praying at a certain place, and when he ceased, one of his disciples said to him, ‘Lord, teach us to pray, as John taught his disciples.'” In response to this request the Lord entrusts to his disciples and to his Church the fundamental Christian prayer. 

CCC 2759

All other Christian prayers go back to the example given by Jesus in the Our Father.

The most common form of the Lord’s Prayer is found in the Gospel of Matthew, as the Catechism explains:

St. Luke presents a brief text of five petitions, while St. Matthew gives a more developed version of seven petitions. The liturgical tradition of the Church has retained St. Matthew’s text:

CCC 2759

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 trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us,
and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.

In a certain sense, it is difficult to do better than the prayer Jesus taught us.

Yet, we can still pray with our own words, keeping in mind the example Jesus gave us in the Our Father.

If we can pray in the same spirit, we will be on the right track.

BibleCCC PrayerPrayer
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