Two versions of this prayer are recorded in the gospels: a longer form within the Sermon on the Mount in the Gospel of Matthew, and a shorter form in the Gospel of Luke when "one of his disciples said to him, 'Lord, teach us to pray, as John taught his disciples.'". Lutheran theologian Harold Buls suggested that both were original, the Matthean version spoken by Jesus early in his ministry in Galilee, and the Lucan version one year later, "very likely in Judea".
The first three of the seven petitions in Matthew address God; the other four are related to human needs and concerns. The Matthew account alone includes the "Your will be done" and the "Rescue us from the evil one" (or "Deliver us from evil") petitions. Both original Greek texts contain the adjective epiousios, which does not appear in any other classical or Koine Greek literature; while controversial, "daily" has been the most common English-language translation of this word. Protestants usually conclude the prayer with a doxology, a later addendum appearing in some manuscripts of Matthew.
|Matthew 6:9-13 NRSV||Luke 11:2-4 (NRSV)|
|Our Father in heaven,||Father, [Other ancient authorities read Our father in heaven]|
|hallowed be your name.||hallowed be your name.|
|Your kingdom come.||Your kingdom come.|
|[A few ancient authorities read Your Holy Spirit come upon us and cleanse us.]|
|Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.||[Other ancient authorities add Your will be done, on earth as in heaven]|
|Give us this day our daily bread. [Or our bread for tomorrow]||Give us each day our daily bread. [Or our bread for tomorrow]|
|And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.||and forgive us our sins, for we ourselves forgive everyone indebted to us.|
|And do not bring us to the time of trial, [Or us into temptation] but rescue us from the evil one. [Or from evil]||And do not bring us to the time of trial. [Or us into temptation. Other ancient authorities add but rescue us from the evil one (or from evil)]|
|[Other ancient authorities add, in some form, For the kingdom and the power and the glory are yours forever. Amen.]|
Initial words on the topic from the Catechism of the Catholic Church teach that it "is truly the summary of the whole gospel". The prayer is used by most Christian churches in their worship; with few exceptions, the liturgical form is the Matthean. Although theological differences and various modes of worship divide Christians, according to Fuller Seminary professor Clayton Schmit, "there is a sense of solidarity in knowing that Christians around the globe are praying together ... and these words always unite us."