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Page 149


The Heidelberg Catechism

Questions and Answers 116-129

Q. 116. Why is prayer necessary for Christians?
A. Because it is the chief part of thankfulness which God requires of us: and also, because God will give His grace and Holy Spirit to those only, who with sincere desires continually ask them of Him, and are thankful for them.

Q. 117. What are the requisites of that prayer, which is acceptable to God, and which He will hear?
A. First, that we from the heart pray to the one true God only, who hath manifested Himself in His Word, for all things, He hath commanded us to ask of Him; secondly, that we rightly and thoroughly know our need and misery, that so we may deeply humble ourselves in the presence of His divine majesty; thirdly, that we be fully persuaded that He, notwithstanding that we are unworthy of it, will, for the sake of Christ our Lord, certainly hear our prayer, as He has promised us in His Word.

Q. 118. What hath God commanded us to ask of Him?
A. All things necessary for soul and body; which Christ our Lord has comprised in that prayer He Himself has taught us.

Q. 119. What are the words of that prayer?
A. Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed by 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 debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen.

Q. 120. Why hath Christ commanded us to address God thus: "Our Father"?
A. That immediately, in the very beginning of our prayer, He might excite in us a childlike reverence for, and confidence in God, which are the foundation of our prayer: namely, that God is become our Father in Christ, and will much less deny us what we ask of Him in true faith, than our parents will refuse us earthly things.

Q. 121. Why is it here added, "Which art in heaven"?
A. Lest we should form any earthly conceptions of God's heavenly majesty, and that we may expect from His almighty power all things necessary for soul and body.

Q. 122. Which is the first petition?
A. "Hallowed be Thy Name"; that is, grant us, first, rightly to know Thee, and to sanctify, glorify and praise Thee, in all Thy works, in which Thy power, wisdom, goodness, justice, mercy and truth, are clearly displayed; and further also, that we may so order and direct our whole lives, our thoughts, words, and actions, that Thy Name may never be blasphemed, but rather honored and praised on our account.

Q. 123. Which is the second petition?
A. "Thy kingdom come"; that is, rule us so by Thy Word and Spirit, that we may submit ourselves more and more to Thee; preserve and increase Thy church; destroy the works of the devil, and all violence which would exalt itself against Thee; and also, all wicked counsels devised against Thy holy Word; till the full perfection of Thy kingdom take place, wherein Thou shalt be all in all.

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