Name of the prayer given by Jesus to his disciples at their request (Matt. 6: 9–13, and in a slightly different and shorter version, Luke 11: 2–4). It is an essentially Jewish prayer, without specific Christian content, and each clause has parallels in Jewish prayers recited in the synagogues. It is primarily a prayer that God will fulfil his purposes in the world, as they already are achieved in heaven. The prayer is thus set in an eschatological context and the petition that we may be given our ‘daily’ bread should probably be translated ‘our bread for tomorrow’; it is a prayer for today's necessities in order to be ready for the morrow, whenever that may be, of the coming of the Kingdom.
In some later MSS there is a doxology— ‘For yours is the kingdom…’ (Matt. 6: 13), an acknowledgement of the privilege of knowing God as Father.
The prayer invites Jesus' disciples to share in the intimacy with the Father which he himself enjoys but at the same time does not diminish the otherness or holiness of God.
Subjects: Biblical Studies.