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Matthew 6:9

After this manner therefore pray: Our Father who is in heaven, hallowed be your name.
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Augustine of Hippo

AD 430
Seeing that in all prayer we have to conciliate the goodwill of him to whom we pray, then to say what we pray for; goodwill is usually conciliated by our offering praise to him to whom the prayer is directed, and this is usually put in the beginning of the prayer: and in this particular our Lord has bidden us say nothing else but Our Father who art in heaven. For many things are said in praise of God, which, being scattered variously and widely over all the Holy Scriptures, every one will be able to consider when he reads them: yet nowhere is there found a precept for the people of Israel, that they should say Our Father, or that they should pray to God as a Father; but as Lord He was made known to them, as being yet servants, i.e. still living according to the flesh. I say this, however, inasmuch as they received the commands of the law, which they were ordered to observe: for the prophets often show that this same Lord of ours might have been their Father also, if they had not straye...

Augustine of Hippo

AD 430
Serm. in Mont., ii, 4: Since in every entreaty we have first to propitiate the good favour of Him whom we entreat, and after that mention what we entreat for; and this we commonly do by saying something in praise of Him whom we entreat, and place it in the front of our petition; in this the Lord bids us say no more than only, “Our Father which art in Heaven. "Mary things were said of them to the praise of God, yet do we never find it taught to the children of Israel to address Godas ‘Our Father;’ He is rather set before them as a Lord over slaves. But of Christ's people the Apostle says, “We have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry Abba, Father,” and that not of our deservings, but of grace. This then we express in the prayer when we say, “Father;” which name also stirs up love. For what can be dearer than sons are to a father? And asuppliant spirit, in that men should say to God “Our Father.” And a certain presumption that we shall obtain; for what will He not give to His ...

Augustine of Hippo

AD 430
Let the new people, therefore, who are called to an eternal inheritance freely employ the word of the New Testament and say, “Our Father who art in heaven,” that is, the place where holiness and justice reign. For God is not contained spatially. The heavens may be in a sense “higher” created bodies of the world, even while remaining created, and so cannot exist apart from some spatial location. But do not think of this spatially, as if the birds are nearer to God than we. It is not written that “the Lord is closer to tall people” or “nearer to those who live on higher hills.” For it is written, “The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit,” namely, close to those who are humble. . ...

Augustine of Hippo

AD 430
The sevenfold number of these petitions also seems to me to correspond to that sevenfold number out of which the whole sermon before us has had its rise. For if it is the fear of God through which the poor in spirit are blessed, inasmuch as theirs is the kingdom of heaven; let us ask that the name of God may be hallowed among men through that fear which is clean, enduring for ever. If it is piety through which the meek are blessed, inasmuch as they shall inherit the earth; let us ask that His kingdom may come, whether it be over ourselves, that we may become meek, and not resist Him, or whether it be from heaven to earth in the splendour of the Lord's advent, in which we shall rejoice, and shall be praised, when He says, Come, you blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For in the Lord, says the prophet, shall my soul be praised; the meek shall hear thereof, and be glad. If it is knowledge through which those who mourn are blessed, i...

Augustine of Hippo

AD 430
THE SON OF GOD, our Lord Jesus Christ, hath taught us a prayer; and tho He be the Lord Himself, as ye have heard and repeated in the creed, the only Son of God, yet He would not be alone. He is the only Son, and yet would not be alone; He hath vouchsafed to have brethren. For to whom doth He say: “Our Father which art in Heaven?” Whom did He wish us to call our Father save His own Father? Did He grudge us this? Parents sometimes, when they have gotten one, or two, or three children, fear to give birth to any more lest they reduce the rest to beggary. But because the inheritance which He promised us is such as many may possess and no one be straitened, therefore hath He called into His brotherhood the peoples of the nations; and the only Son hath numberless brethren who say, “Our Father which art in Heaven.” So said they who have been before us; and so shall say those who will come after us. See how many brethren the only Son hath in His grace, sharing His inheritance with those for who...

Augustine of Hippo

AD 430
But the distinction among these seven petitions is to be considered and commended. For inasmuch as our temporal life is being spent now, and that which is eternal hoped for, and inasmuch as eternal things are superior in point of dignity, albeit it is only when we have done with temporal things that we pass to the other; although the three first petitions begin to be answered in this life, which is being spent in the present world (for both the hallowing of God's name begins to be carried on just with the coming of the lord of humility; and the coming of His kingdom, to which He will come in splendour, will be manifested, not after the end of the world, but in the end of the world; and the perfect doing of His will in earth as in heaven, whether you understand by heaven and earth the righteous and sinners, or spirit and flesh, or the Lord and the Church, or all these things together, will be brought to completion just with the perfecting of our blessedness, and therefore at the close o...

Cyprian of Carthage

AD 258
We pray “Hallowed be thy name,” not that we wish that God may be made holy by our prayers but that his name may be hallowed in us. But by whom is God made holy, since he himself is incomparably holy? It is because he commands us, “Be holy, even as I am holy,” that we ask and entreat that we who were sanctified in baptism may continue in that which we have begun to be. And this we pray for daily, for we have need of daily sanctification, that we who daily fall away may wash out our sins by continual sanctification. Treatises, On the Lord’s Prayer ...

Cyprian of Carthage

AD 258
1. The evangelical precepts, beloved brethren, are nothing else than divine teachings—foundations on which hope is to be built, supports to strengthen faith, nourishments for cheering the heart, rudders for guiding our way, guards for obtaining salvation—which, while they instruct the docile minds of believers on the earth, lead them to heavenly kingdoms. God, moreover, willed many things to he said and to be heard by means of the prophets His servants; but how much greater are those which the Son speaks, which the Word of God who was in the prophets testifies with His own voice; not now bidding to prepare the way for His coming, but Himself coming and opening and showing to us the way, so that we who have before been wandering in the darkness of death, without forethought and blind, being enlightened by the light of grace, might keep the way of life, with the Lord for our ruler and guide! He, among the rest of His salutary admonitions and divine precepts wherewith He counsels His p...
14 mins8/19

Cyprian of Carthage

AD 258
Tr. vii, 7: Otherwise, we say this not as wishing for God to be made holy byour prayers, but asking of Him for His name to be kept holy in us. For seeing He Himself has said, “Be ye holy, for I also am holy,” it is this that we ask and request that we who have been sanctified in Baptism, may persevere such as we have begun. For this we daily make petition, since we need a daily sanctification, in order that we who sin day by day, may cleanse afresh our offences by a continual sanctification. ...
< 1 min9/19

George Leo Haydock

AD 1849
As God is the common Father of all, we pray for all. Let none fear on account of their lowly station here, for all are comprised in the same heavenly nobility. By saying, "who art in heaven "he does not mean to insinuate that he is there only, but he wishes to withdraw the humble petitioner from earth, and fix his attention on heaven. (St. Chrysostom, hom. xx.) Other prayers are not forbidden. Jesus Christ prayed in different words (John, chap. viii.), and the apostles; (Acts i, 24,) but this is an example of the simple style to be used in prayer, and is applicable to all occasions. Hallowed be thy name, from the word holy, be held and kept holy, be glorified by us, and that not only by our words, but principally by the lives we lead. The honour and glory of God should be the principal subject of our prayers, and the ultimate end of our every action; every other thing must be subordinate to this. (Haydock) ...

Glossa Ordinaria

AD 1480
Amongst His other saving instructions and divine lessons, wherewith He counsels believers, He has set forth for us a form of prayer in few words; thus givingus confidence that will be quickly granted, for which He would have us pray so shortly. ord.: Yet we do not confine ourselves wholly to these words, but use others also conceived in the same sense, with which our heart is kindled. ord.: Also because He is a common Father of all, we say, “Our Father;” not “My Father” which is appropriate to Christ alone, who is his Son by nature. ...
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John Chrysostom

AD 407
This at once takes away hatred, quells pride, casts out envy and brings in the mother of all good things, charity. By inward prayer the inequality of human things is thwarted. It shows how nearly equal are the king and the poor person in all those matters that are most indispensable and of greatest weight. Behind those closed doors before God, we are all equals. The Gospel of Matthew, Homily ...
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John Chrysostom

AD 407
See how He straightway stirred up the hearer, and reminded him of all God's bounty in the beginning. For he who calls God Father, by him both remission of sins, and taking away of punishment, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption, and adoption, and inheritance, and brotherhood with the Only-Begotten, and the supply of the Spirit, are acknowledged in this single title. For one cannot call God Father, without having attained to all those blessings. Doubly, therefore, does He awaken their spirit, both by the dignity of Him who is called on, and by the greatness of the benefits which they have enjoyed. But when He says, in Heaven, He speaks not this as shutting up God there, but as withdrawing him who is praying from earth, and fixing him in the high places, and in the dwellings above. He teaches, moreover, to make our prayer common, in behalf of our brethren also. For He says not, my Father, which art in Heaven, but, our Father, offering up his supplications for the bod...
3 mins13/19

John Chrysostom

AD 407
The prayer to hallow God’s name corresponds with what Jesus has previously taught: “Let your light so shine before others that they may see your good works and glorify your Father who is in heaven,” just as the seraphim too, giving glory, sang “Holy, holy, holy.” So “hallowed” means “glorified.” In effect he is saying, “Enable us to live so purely that through us all may glorify you.” It points us again to mature selfcontrol, that we may present to all a life so irreprehensible that every one of those who observe may offer to the Lord the praise due to him for this. The Gospel of Matthew, Homily ...

John Chrysostom

AD 407
For what hurt does such kindred with those beneath us, when we are all alike in to One above us? For who calls God Father, in that one title confesses atonce the forgiveness of sins, the adoption, the heirship, the brotherhood, which he has with the Only-begotten, and the gift of the Spirit. For none cancall God Father, but he who has obtained all these blessings. In a two-fold manner, therefore, he moves the feeling of them that pray, both by the dignity of Him who is prayed to, and the greatness of those benefits which we gain by prayer. To pray for ourselves it is our necessity compels us, to pray for others brotherly charity instigates. “Which are in heaven,” is added, that we may know that we have a heavenly Father, and may blush to immerse ourselves wholly in earthly things when wehave a Father in heaven. Cassian, Collat. ix. 18: And that we should speed with strong desire thitherward where our Father dwells. “In heaven,” not confining God’s presence to that, but withdrawing the ...

Tertullian of Carthage

AD 220
Jesus Christ our Lord the Spirit of God and the Word of God and the Reason of God--the Word (which expresses) the Reason, and the Reason (which possesses) the Word, and the Spirit of both--has prescribed for His new disciples of the New Testament a new form of prayer. For in this matter, also, it was fitting that new wine be stored in new wine skins and that a new patch be sewed upon a new garment. Whatever had prevailed in days gone by was either abolished, like circumcision, or completed, like the rest of the Law, or fulfilled, like the prophecies, or brought to its perfection, like faith itself. Everything has been changed from carnal to spiritual by the new grace of God which, with the coming of the Gospel, has wiped out the old completely; and in this grace it has been proved there is the Spirit of God and the Word of God and the Reason of God, Jesus Christ our Lord; as the Spirit wherein He prevailed, the Word whereby He taught, and the Reason  or which He came. Consequently, t...
6 mins16/19

Tertullian of Carthage

AD 220
Prayer begins with a demonstration of our belief in God and a blessed act of faith at the moment when we say, “Father, who art in heaven.” For we are thereby both adoring God and demonstrating our faith, and this form of address is the result. It is written, “To those who believe in God he gave the power to be called the children of God.” ...
< 1 min17/19

Tertullian of Carthage

AD 220
Our Lord so frequently spoke to us of God as Father. He even taught us to call none on earth father, but only the one we have in heaven. Therefore, when we pray to the Father, we are following this command. Blessed are they who recognize their Father! Remember the reproach made against Israel, when the Spirit calls heaven and earth to witness, saying, “I have begotten sons and they have not known me.” In addressing him as Father we are also naming him God, so as to combine in a single term both filial love and power. Addressing the Father, the Son is also being addressed, for Christ said, “I and the Father are one.” Nor is Mother Church passed over without mention, for the mother is recognized in the Son and the Father, as it is within the church that we learn the meaning of the terms Father and Son. ...

Theophylact of Ochrid

AD 1107
A vow is different from a prayer (Bl. Theophylact here draws attention to the similarity, yet difference, between the Greek words for "vow" and "prayer," euche and pros-euche). A vow is a promise made to God, as, for example, when one vows to abstain from wine, etc. But prayer is a petitioning for good things. By saying "Father," the Lord shows you of what good things you have been deemed worthy, having become a son of God. By saying "in the heavens" He has revealed to you your fatherland and your paternal home. For if you desire to have God as your Father, then look toward heaven and not toward earth. And you must not say, "My Father," but "Our Father," regarding all men as brothers of one and the same Father. This means, Make us holy, so that Thou mightest be glorified through us. For just as God is blasphemed through me, so also is He hallowed through me, that is, He is glorified as the Holy One. ...

Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. - 2 Peter 1:20

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