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Pope in General Audience: a Christian prays not just for themselves but also for others

In his weekly General Audience, Pope Francis continued his catechesis on the “Our Father” prayer. 

He said true prayer is an intimate and silent dialogue with God, like the glance between two lovers. 

The pope noted the absence of “I” in the “Our Father” prayer. This is because Jesus teaches everyone to pray for God's kingdom and Will.

He added also that in the second half of the prayer the word “our” is used. This use of the plural is to show that Christian prayer doesn't just ask for its own needs but for others. 

The pope concluded by inviting people to consider if they open their hearts to the needs of others. He stressed that at the end of one's life they will be judged on how they have loved. A love not sentimental but concrete and compassionate “as seen in God’s word: 'As you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.'”


Dear Brothers and Sisters,

In our ongoing catechesis on the “Our Father”, let us continue to learn from Jesus how to pray as he taught. 

True prayer is made in the intimate depths of a heart visible only to God. It is a silent dialogue, like the glance between two people in love. 

Yet in this way the Christian does not forget the world, but rather brings its people and its needs into prayer. 

We notice the absence of the word “I” in the “Our Father”. Jesus teaches us instead to pray: “your kingdom come, your will be done”. 

The second half of the prayer then moves from “your” to “our”: “give us our daily bread; forgive us our trespasses”. 

This use of the plural shows that Christian prayer never asks bread for just one person, but always on behalf of others. 

In our prayer, then, do we open our hearts to the cry of others? We are all children of God, and at the end of our lives we will be judged on how we have loved. Not a sentimental love but one that is concrete and compassionate, as seen in God’s word: “As you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me” (Mt 25:40).

I greet the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors taking part in today’s Audience, especially those from Sweden, Australia, Hong Kong, Korea, the Philippines and the United States of America. Upon all of you, and your families, I invoke the Lord’s blessings of joy and peace. God bless you!