An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church

Lord’s Prayer, The

This prayer of Jesus was given to his disciples as an example of how they should pray. The phrase “Lord's Prayer” is not used in the NT. The prayer is found in Mt 6:9-13 as part of the Sermon on the Mount and in Lk 11:2-4 when Jesus and the disciples are on the road to Jerusalem. Luke's version is shorter and more compact than Matthew's. Scholars have argued that the Lord's Prayer was originally part of the “Q” source and that Luke's version is probably closer to the original. As a prayer, the Lord's Prayer is similar to Jewish prayers. It begins with an address to God the Father, continues with petitions which ask God to act in a way which would achieve his purposes, and then has petitions which ask for God's help. The traditional closing, the doxology, is probably a later addition. It is not found in Luke nor in all the manuscripts of Matthew's gospel. The Lord's Prayer is said at Baptism, Eucharist, the Daily Offices, and other services of the Episcopal Church. The BCP includes both contemporary and traditional language versions of the Lord's Prayer (see BCP, p. 364). It is also known as the “Our Father” and the “Pater Noster.”

Glossary definitions provided courtesy of Church Publishing Incorporated, New York, NY,(All Rights reserved) from “An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church, A User Friendly Reference for Episcopalians,” Don S. Armentrout and Robert Boak Slocum, editors.