I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess.
And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner.
I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for everyone that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.
- Luke 18:10-14
Which man's words and posture reflected godly reverence and personal humility; which revealed self-reverence and personal pride? What warning does Jesus' final sentence give regarding prayer?
Form prayers are prayers which are often repeated; they are read or recited from memory. Form prayers serve meaningful purposes; they can provide a valuable pattern for personal prayer, and they can ensure appropriate and edifying content for special occasions in public prayer. The Lord's Prayer would be an example of the first purpose; the prayers for baptism and the Lord's Supper would be illustrations for the second.
However, form prayers can be misused. This takes place when a memorized prayer is used only out of habit or custom. In such cases, words are repeated without their accompanying thoughts and feelings. This is a real danger when only form prayers are used for personal or family devotions.
The most famous of all written prayers is the prayer which Jesus taught His apostles after they asked Him to teach them how to pray. This prayer has been entitled "The Lord's Prayer," and it provides a beautiful, excellent pattern for our personal prayers.
The basic divisions and petitions contained in the Lord's Prayer are shown and briefly explained in the chart and poem on the following three pages.
Why are godly reverence and self-humility inseparable?
Name some advantages and disadvantages of using form prayers and free prayers.
In one way, "The Lord's Prayer" could better be titled, "The Apostles' Prayer." Why?
When viewing the parts of the Lord's Prayer on the following page, why can the first three petitions be accurately classified as worship, and the last three as supplication?