Of Prayer

45  Lord's Day

Question  116
Why is prayer necessary for Christians?

A. Because it is the chief part of thankfulness which God requires of us:(1) 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.(2)

(1) Psa  50:14  Offer unto God thanksgiving; and pay thy vows unto the most High: 
Psa  50:15  And call upon Me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify Me.

(2) Matt 7:7  Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find;
knock, and it shall be opened unto you:

Luke 11:9  And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.
Luke 11:13  If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?

Question  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 has manifested Himself in His word,(1) for all things He has commanded us to ask of Him;(2) 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;(3) thirdly, that we be fully persuaded that He, notwithstanding that we are unworthy of it,(4) will, for the sake of Christ our Lord, certainly hear our prayer,(5) as He has promised us in His Word.(6)

(1) John 4:22  Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews.
John 4:23  But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship Him.

(2) Rom 8:26  Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.
1 John 5:14  And this is the confidence that we have in Him, that, if we ask any thing according to His will, He heareth us.

(3) John 4:23  But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship Him.
John 4:24  God is a Spirit: and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth.
Psa  145:18  The LORD is nigh unto all them that call upon Him, to all that call upon Him in truth.

(4) 2 Chron 20:12  O our God, wilt thou not judge them? for we have no might against this great company that cometh against us; neither know we what to do: but our eyes are upon Thee.

(5) Psa  2:11  Serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice with trembling.
Psa  34:18  The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit.
Psa  34:19  Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the LORD delivereth him out of them all.
Isa  66:2  For all those things hath Mine hand made, and all those things have been, saith the LORD: but to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at My word.

(6) Rom 10:13  For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
Rom 8:15  For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.
Rom 8:16  The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:
James 1:6  But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.
John 14:13  And whatsoever ye shall ask in My name, that will I do,  that the Father may be glorified in the Son.
Dan 9:17  Now therefore, O our God, hear the prayer of Thy servant, and his supplications, and cause Thy face to shine upon Thy sanctuary that is desolate, for the Lord's sake.
Dan 9:18  O my God, incline Thine ear, and hear; open Thine eyes, and behold our desolations, and the city which is called by Thy name: for we do not present our supplications before Thee for our righteousnesses, but for Thy great mercies.
Matt 7:8  For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. 
Psa  143:1  Hear my prayer, O LORD, give ear to my supplications: in Thy faithfulness answer me, and in Thy righteousness.

Question  118
What has God commanded us to ask of Him?

A. All things necessary for soul and body;(1) which Christ our Lord has comprised in that prayer He Himself has taught us.(2)

(1) James 1:17  Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.
Matt 6:33  But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

(2) Matt 6:9  After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be Thy name.
Matt 6:10  Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
Luke 11:2  And he said unto them, When ye pray, say, Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be Thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth.

Question  119
What are the words of that prayer?(1)

A. Our Father which art in heaven,

  1. Hallowed be Thy name.
  2. Thy kingdom come.
  3. Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.
  4. Give us this day our daily bread.
  5. And forgive us our debts,  as we forgive our debtors.
  6. And lead us not into temptation,  but deliver us from evil. For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.

46  Lord's Day

Question  120
Why has 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,(1) and will much less deny us what we ask of Him in true faith, than our parents will refuse us earthly things.(2)

(1) Matt 6:9  After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be Thy name.

(2) Matt 7:9  Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone?
Matt 7:10  Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent?
Matt 7:11  If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto
your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask Him?

Luke 11:11 If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent?
Isa 49:15  Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee.

Question  121
Why is it here added, "Which art in heaven"?

A. Lest we should form any earthly conceptions of God's heavenly majesty,(1) and that we may expect from His almighty power all things necessary for soul and body.(2)

(1) Jer 23:24  Can any hide himself in secret places that I shall not see him? saith the LORD. Do not I fill heaven and earth? saith the LORD.

(2) Acts 17:24  God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that He is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands.
Rom 10:12  For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon Him.

47  Lord's Day

Question  122
Which is the first petition?

A. "Hallowed be Thy name";(1) that is, grant us, first, rightly to know Thee,(2) and to sanctify, glorify and praise Thee, in all Thy works, in which Thy power, wisdom, goodness, justice, mercy and truth, are clearly displayed;(3) 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 honoured and praised on our account.(4)

(1) Matt 6:9  After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be Thy name.

(2) John 17:3  And this is life eternal, that they might know Thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom Thou hast sent.
Jer 9:23  Thus saith the LORD, Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches:
Jer 9:24  But let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth Me, that I am the LORD which exercise lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith the LORD.
Matt 16:17  And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but My Father which is in heaven. 
James 1:5  If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.

(3) Psa  119:137  Righteous art thou, O LORD, and upright are Thy judgments.
 Psa  119:138 Thy testimonies that Thou hast commanded are righteous and very faithful.
Luke 1:46  And Mary said, My soul doth magnify the Lord.
Psa  145:8  The LORD is gracious, and full of compassion; slow to anger, and of great mercy.
Psa  145:9  The LORD is good to all: and His tender mercies are over all His works.

(4) Psa  115:1  Not unto us, O LORD, not unto us, but unto Thy name give glory, for Thy mercy, and for Thy truth's sake.
Ps  71:8  Let my mouth be filled with Thy praise and with Thy honour all the day.

48  Lord's Day

Question  123
Which is the second petition?

A. "Thy kingdom come";(1) that is, rule us so by Thy Word and Spirit, that we may submit ourselves more and more to Thee;(2) preserve and increase thy church;(3) destroy the works of the devil,(4) 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,(5) wherein Thou shalt be all in all.(6)

(1) Matt 6:10  Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven

(2) Psa  119:5  O that my ways were directed to keep Thy statutes!

(3) Psa  51:18 Do good in Thy good pleasure unto Zion: build Thou the walls of Jerusalem.

(4) 1 John 3:8  He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil
sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was
manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil.
Rom 16:20  And the God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen.

(5) Rev 22:17  And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.
Rev 22:20  He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.

(6) 1 Cor 15:15  Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God; because we have testified of God that He raised up Christ: whom He raised not up, if so be that the dead rise not.
1 Cor 15:28  And when all things shall be subdued unto Him, then shall the Son also Himself be subject unto Him that put all things under Him, that God may be all in all.

49  Lord's Day

Question  124
Which is the third petition?

A. "Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven";(1) that is, grant that we and all men may renounce our own will,(2) and without murmuring obey Thy will,(3) which is only good; that every one may attend to and perform the duties of his station and calling,(4) as willingly and faithfully as the angels do in heaven.(5)

(1) Matt 6:10  Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.

(2) Matt 16:24  Then said Jesus unto His disciples, If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.
Tit.2:12  Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world.

(3) Luke 22:42  Saying,  Father, if Thou be willing, remove this cup from Me: nevertheless not My will, but Thine, be done.

(4) 1 Cor 7:24  Brethren, let every man, wherein he is called, therein
abide with God.
Eph 4:1 I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called.

(5) Psa  103:20  Bless the LORD, ye His angels, that excel in strength, that do His commandments, hearkening unto the voice of His word.

50  Lord's Day

Question  125
Which is the fourth petition?

A. "Give us this day our daily bread";(1) that is, be pleased to provide us with all things necessary for the body,(2) that we may thereby acknowledge Thee to be the only fountain of all good,(3) and that neither our care nor industry, nor even Thy gifts, can profit us without Thy blessing;(4) and therefore that we may withdraw our trust from all creatures, and place it alone in Thee.(5)

(1) Matt 6:11  Give us this day our daily bread

(2) Psa  145:15  The eyes of all wait upon Thee; and Thou givest them their meat in due season.
Matt 6:25  Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what
ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?

(3) Acts 17:25  Neither is worshipped with men's hands, as though He needed any thing, seeing He giveth to all life, and breath, and all things.
Acts 14:17  Nevertheless He left not Himself without witness, in that
He did good, and gave us rain from heaven, and fruitful seasons, filling our hearts with food and gladness.

(4) 1 Cor 15:58  Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.
Deut 8:3  And He humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knewest not, neither did thy fathers know; that He might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the LORD doth man live.
Psa  127:1  Except the LORD build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the LORD keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain.
Psa  127:2  It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat
the bread of sorrows: for so He giveth His beloved sleep.

(5) Psa  62:11  God hath spoken once; twice have I heard this; that power belongeth unto God.
Psa  55:22  Cast thy burden upon the LORD, and He shall sustain thee: He shall never suffer the righteous to be moved.

51  Lord's Day

Question  126
Which is the fifth petition?

A. "And forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors";(1) that is, be pleased for the sake of Christ's blood, not to impute to us poor sinners our transgressions, nor that depravity which always cleaves to us;(2) even as we feel this evidence of Thy grace in us, that it is our firm resolution from the heart to forgive our neighbour.(3)

(1) Matt 6:12   And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors

(2) Psa  51:1  Have mercy upon me, O God, according to Thy lovingkindness: according unto the multitude of Thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions.
1 John 2:1  My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:
1 John 2:2  And He is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.

(3) Matt 6:14  For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you:
Matt 6:15  But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

 52  Lord's Day

Question  127
Which is the sixth petition?

A. "And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil"; (1) that is, since we are so weak in ourselves, that we cannot stand a moment;(2) and besides this, since our mortal enemies, the devil,(3) the world,(4) and our own flesh, (5) cease not to assault us, do Thou therefore preserve and strengthen us by the power of Thy Holy Spirit, that we may not be overcome in this spiritual warfare, but constantly and strenuously may resist our foes(6) till at last we obtain a complete victory.(7)

(1) Matt 6:13  And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.

(2) Rom  8:26 Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.
Psa  103:14  For He knoweth our frame; He remembereth that we are dust.

(3) 1 Pet 5:8  Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:

(4) Eph 6:12  For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
John 15:19  If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.

(5) Rom 7:23  But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.
Gal 5:17  For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.

(6) Matt 26:41  Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.
Mark 13:33 Take ye heed, watch and pray: for ye know not when the time is.

(7) 1 Thess 3:13  To the end He may stablish your hearts unblameable in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all His saints.
1 Thess 5:23  And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Question  128
How dost thou conclude thy prayer?

A. "For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever";(1) that is, all these we ask of Thee, because Thou, being our King and almighty, art willing and able to give us all good;(2) and all this we pray for, that thereby not we, but Thy Holy Name, may be glorified for ever.(3)

(1) Matt 6:13  And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.

(2) Rom 10:12  For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon Him.
2 Pet 2:9  The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished.

(3) John 14:13  And whatsoever ye shall ask in My name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.
Psa  115:1  Not unto us, O LORD, not unto us, but unto Thy name give glory, for Thy mercy, and for Thy truth's sake.
Phil 4:20  Now unto God and our Father be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

Question  129
What does the word "Amen" signify?

A. "Amen" signifies it shall truly and certainly be, for my prayer is more assuredly heard of God than I feel in my heart that I desire these things of Him.(1)

(1) 2 Cor 1:20  For all the promises of God in Him are yea, and in Him Amen, unto the glory of God by us.
2 Tim 2:13  If we believe not, yet He abideth faithful: He cannot deny Himself.