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Lesson #99—Prayer: God Given

Wednesday, March 9, 2011, 6:00
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Lesson #99: Prayer: God Given

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Shorter Catechism Q & A # 99

Q. What rule hath God given for our direction in prayer?

A. The whole word of God is of use to direct us in prayer; but the special rule of direction is that form of prayer which Christ taught his disciples, commonly called The Lord’s Prayer.

Memorize Q&A (including the Lord’s Prayer)—Exposition

Prayer is our communication with our Father in heaven, in the name of Christ who broke the wall of separation by the shedding of blood, with the Spirit whereby we cry out, “Abba Father.” It is a communication which responds to God’s word to us, as revealed in the Holy Scriptures. Therefore, Scripture reveals the manner in which we should pray.

What does it mean?

The whole Word of God (Scriptures of the Old and New Testament) teaches us how to pray.

What is meant by ‘rule of direction’? (Illustrated by Num. 21:18, Prov. 3:6, 16:9)

How do we learn of the will of God? (1 John 5:14)

Christ gave his disciples a special form of prayer. List the different parts of The Lord’s Prayer. (Matthew 6:9–13)

What is our practice?

We prepare our prayer life by carefully reading the Psalms, which both motivate and give substance to our prayers. Our prayers mature as they become more and more conformed to the prayer that our Lord has taught us. Our prayers ought to witness to the truth that God is our Father.

Quotes for thought and discussion:

Thomas Watson wrote: Let us have a great esteem of the Lord’s Prayer; let it be the model and pattern of all our prayers. There is a double benefit arising from framing our petitions suitably to this prayer. Hereby error in prayer is prevented. It is not easy to write wrong after this copy; we cannot easily err when we have our pattern before us. Hereby mercies requested are obtained; for the apostle assures us that God will hear us when we pray ‘according to his will.’ 1 John 5: 14. And sure we pray according to his will when we pray according to the pattern he has set us. So much for the introduction to the Lord’s Prayer, ‘After this manner pray ye.’

A good man was told one day by a girl of prayer, ‘When I was a child my mother taught me to pray, but now the Lord makes me.’ Being asked how she knew the Lord’s teaching from that of her mother, her reply was: ‘The Lord makes me both to rejoice and weep; He makes my heart glad, and gives me new words.’ (John Whitecross, Illustrated)

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