What is the Lord’s Prayer? Introduction

This entry is part 43 of 44 in the series What are Catechisms?


The Lord’s prayer is recorded twice in the New Testament. The passage most commonly memorized is Matthew 6:9-13, often in the King James Version. The version in Luke 11:2-4 is shorter.

What rule has God given for our direction in prayer?1

The whole Word of God is of use to direct us in prayer, but the special rule of direction is that prayer, which Christ taught His disciples, commonly called the Lord’s Prayer. (Matthew 6:9-13; 2 Timothy 3:16-17)

How is the Lord’s Prayer to be used?2

The Lord’s Prayer is not only for direction, as a pattern, according to which we are to make other prayers; but may also be used as a prayer, so that it be done with understanding, faith, reverence, and other graces necessary to the right performance of the duty of prayer.

Lord’s Prayer


Matthew 6:9b-13 KJV


Our Father which art in heaven,


Hallowed be thy name.


Thy kingdom come.


Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.


Give us this day our daily bread.


And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.


And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil:


For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.

That we may the better understand what it contains, let us divide it into heads.3

It contains six parts, of which the three first respect the glory of God alone as their proper end, without any reference to us: the other three relate to us and our interest.

Are we then to ask God for anything from which no benefit redounds to us?4

He indeed of his infinite goodness so arranges all things that nothing tends to his glory without being also salutary to us. Therefore when his name is sanctified, he causes it to turn to our sanctification also; nor does his kingdom come without our being in a manner sharers in it. But in asking all these things, we ought to look only to his glory without thinking of advantage to ourselves.

According to this view, three of these requests have a connection with our own good, and yet their only aim ought to be, that the name of God may be glorified.5

It is so; and thus the glory of God ought also to be considered in the other three, though they are properly intended to express desire for things which belong to our good and salvation.


Over the next several article, I’ll be posting the questions and answers from different catechisms related to the Lord’s Prayer. Each catechism I looked at has useful information that’s not included in other catechisms, so rather than try to combine the information into a single article (which would have been very long), I decided to create an article for each catechism. There will be a lot of repetition, but I think the articles will be useful.

Series Navigation<< What is Prayer?What is the Lord’s Prayer? Baptist Catechism >>

What are Catechisms? (44 articles)


  1. Baptist Catechism (1677), Question 110.
  2. Westminster Larger Catechism (1647), Question 187.
  3. Geneva Catachism (1545), Question 257.
  4. Geneva Catachism (1545), Question 258.
  5. Geneva Catachism (1545), Question 259.

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