appropriate prayer [the Lord’s Prayer] is said first, as the foundation of further desires.’8


At the Centre of the Scriptures

2762 After showing how the Psalms are the principal food of Christian prayer and flow together in the petitions of the Our Father, St Augustine concludes: Run through all the words of the holy prayers [in Scripture], and I do not think that you will find anything in them that is not contained and included in the Lord’s Prayer.9 2763 All the Scriptures — the Law, the Prophets and the Psalms — 102 are fulfilled in Christ.’0 The Gospel is this ‘Good News’. Its first proclamation is summarized by St Matthew in the Sermon on the Mount;” the prayer to our Father is at the centre of this proclamation. It is in this context that each petition bequeathed to us by the Lord is illuminated:
The Lord’s Prayer is the most perfect of prayers... In it we ask, not only for all the things we can rightly desire, but also in the sequence that they 2541 should be desired. This prayer teaches us not only to ask for things, but also in what order we should desire them.’2 2764 The Sermon on the Mount is teaching for life, the Our Father 1965 is a prayer; but in both the one and the other the Spirit of the Lord gives new form to our desires, those inner movements that animate our lives. Jesus teaches us this new life by his words; he teaches us to ask for it by our prayer. The rightness of our life in 1969 him will depend on the rightness of our prayer.


‘The Lord’s Prayer’

2765 The traditional expression ‘the Lord’s Prayer’ — oratio Dominica — means that the prayer to our Father is taught and given 2701 to us by the Lord Jesus. The prayer that comes to us from Jesus is truly unique: it is ‘of the Lord’. On the one hand, in the words of this prayer the only Son gives us the words the Father gave him:’3 he is the master of our prayer. On the other, as Word incarnate, he knows in his human heart the needs of his human brothers and sisters and reveals them to us: he is the model of our prayer.