This week, our time in The Catechism changes direction. We move from the Ten Commandments to the Lord's Prayer. The last eight Lord's Days will focus on the specific requests within the Lord's Prayer. The catechism this weeks asks three questions to help us get to the heart of the Lord's Prayer. The questions cover the what, why, and how of prayer.
Question 116: Why do Christians need to pray?
Answer: Because Prayer is the most important part of thankfulness God requires of us. And also because God gives His grace and Holy Spirit to those who pray continually and groan inwardly, asking God for these gifts and thanking Him for them.
Question 117: How does God want us to pray so that He will listen to us?
Answer: First, we must pray from the heart to no other than the one true God, who has revealed Himself in His Word, asking for everything He has commanded us to ask for. Second, we must acknowledge our need and misery, hiding nothing, and humble ourselves in His majestic presence. Third, we must rest on this unshakable foundation: even though we do not deserve it, God will surely listen to our prayer because of Christ our Lord. This is what He promised us in His Word.
Question 118: What did God command us to pray for?
Answer: Everything we need, spiritually and physically, as embraced in the prayer Christ our Lord Himself taught us.
Question 119: What is the prayer?
Answer: Our Father in heaven: Hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done in 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
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