THE LORD’S PRAYER
“Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your
“In the name of God, Most Gracious, Most
There is a prayer which is part of the service in almost every
Christian denomination. It is called “the Lord’s prayer.”
It is one of very few Christian prayers which does not either begin
or end with “in Jesus’ name” or “in the
name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost.”
I believe that this is because this is one prayer, perhaps the
only one, which has survived intact from Jesus. It’s the prayer
Jesus taught to his disciples when they asked him specifically what
to say in prayer (Luke 11:1-4).
What I find most interesting about the Lord’s prayer is its
similarity to the prayer submitters are taught to pray in the Quran
—Al-Fatehah (The Key). This should not come as a
surprise to submitters. We know that Jesus was a true messenger
who preached to his people the worship of God alone. We know that
Jesus delivered the very same message as all messengers before and
In the New Testament book of Matthew, Jesus is teaching his disciples
how to pray correctly. “When you are
praying, do not behave like the hypocrites who love to stand and
pray in synagogues or on street corners in order to be noticed.”
Compare that to the Quran: “The hypocrites think that they
are deceiving God, but He is the One who leads them on. When they
get up for the Contact Prayer (Salat), they get up lazily. This
is because they only show off in front of the people, and rarely
do they think of God.” [4:142]. “And woe to those who
observe the contact prayers (Salat), who are totally heedless of
their prayers. They only show off.” [107:4-6]
When a Christian recites the Lord’s Prayer, he is truly
obeying Jesus the messenger. In the church service I grew up attending,
the Lord’s Prayer was preceded with the phrase: “...as
Jesus taught us to pray.” This is acknowledging Jesus as teacher,
as scholar, as messenger of God.
The Lord’s Prayer, as I memorized it from the King James
version [Matthew 6:9-13]:
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
For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the
glory, for ever and ever. Amen.
In the newer, more accurate New American Bible, the words have
been simplified and are easier to understand. And interestingly,
the last line is not there at all. But in either version, this is
clearly a prayer to God alone. And it’s easy to compare it
to Al-Fatehah, the Key.
The first part of both prayers is naming God, acknowledging His
power, and praising Him. We say, “Praise be to God.”
We name Him “Lord of the universe,” and “Master
of the Day of Judgment.” Christians recognize that God’s
name is “hallowed,” and His will is done both on earth
and in heaven.
Then both prayers ask for God’s help. We say, “You
alone we worship. You alone we ask for help.” And then, “Guide
us in the right path.” Christians ask for provisions: “Give
us this day our daily bread,” and they ask for forgiveness:
“forgive us the wrong we have done,” and they ask for
guidance: “deliver us from the evil one.”
Clearly then, the Lord’s Prayer is a true prayer to God alone,
taught to the disciples by Jesus, messenger of God. I wonder if
the prayer which Jesus taught his disciples was, in fact, Al-Fatehah.
Through time and translation perhaps the words were altered, but
its meaning remains intact for Christians, for all submitters, of