The Catechism of the Catholic Church calls The Lord’s Prayer or the Our Father “the most perfect of prayers.” It dedicates 28 pages to the nine-line prayer, signifying the prayer’s importance in the church.

In the Our Father, “we ask, not only for all the things we can rightly desire, but also in the sequence that they should be desired. This prayer not only teaches us to ask for things, but also in what order we should desire them.” (CCC2763)

The Our Father is called the Lord’s Prayer because it was given to the church by Jesus.

“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” – the Our Father.

“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. 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.” (CCC2765)

The words of the Our Father can be found in both the Gospels of Saint Luke and Saint Matthew. Luke’s account contains five petitions, while Matthew’s account is longer with seven petitions. The church has adopted St. Matthew’s text, according to the Catechism.

“The object of the first three petitions is the glory of the Father – the sanctification of his name, the coming of the kingdom and the fulfillment of his will. The four others present our wants to him. They ask that our lives be nourished, healed of sin and made victorious in the struggle of good over evil,” the catechism says. (CCC2857)

For more on the Our Father and an explanation of each line, see The Catechism of the Catholic Church: Part Four, “Christian Prayer: Section Two: “The Lord’s Prayer.”

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.