Monthly Archives: November 2015

  • Westminster Shorter Catechism, Week 48

    Q. 103. What do we pray for in the third petition?
    A. In the third petition, which is, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven, we pray that God, by his grace, would make us able and willing to know, obey and submit to his will in all things, as the angels do in heaven.

    Originally it was in creation that God’s will became an expression on earth as it was in heaven. Then, through Christ, his will in heaven to save his church became a reality in Christ. Here we pray that his will in heaven would become a reality on earth in and through us. Of course, this means that we seek to do his will. This means that we obey and submit to his word.  This, then, is a prayer for our … Read More »

  • Westminster Shorter Catechism, Week 47

    Q. 102. What do we pray for in the second petition?
    A. In the second petition, which is, Thy kingdom come, we pray that Satan’s kingdom may be destroyed; and that the kingdom of grace may be advanced, ourselves and others brought into it, and kept in it; and that the kingdom of glory may be hastened.

    Last week we noted how Luther taught his barber to pray using the Lord ’s Prayer. Like here, in the first petition Luther was concerned with conversion of the enemies of the gospel and the preservation of Christ’s church in the face of opposition. It’s basically the same as our catechism. Here is what he says about the second petition:

    The second petition: “Thy kingdom come.” Say: “O dear Lord, God and Father, you see how worldly wisdom and reason not only profane … Read More »

  • Westminster Shorter Catechism, Week 46

    Q. 101: What do we pray for in the first petition?
    A: In the first petition (which is, Hallowed be thy name) we pray, That God would enable us and others to glorify him in all that whereby he makes himself known, and that he would dispose all things to his own glory.

    The first petition is a prayer for God’s glory. The first petition teaches us to begin with the end in mind. This is where we are going; this is where the world is heading; this is what we are working for in all things. We pray that, in and through us, and in and through others, God would spread his fame throughout the whole world. This is a big prayer. That said, when you pray it you can see how it brings the little things of … Read More »

  • Westminster Shorter Catechism, Week 45

    Q. 100. What doth the preface of the Lord’s Prayer teach us?
    A.    The preface of the Lord’s prayer, which is, Our Father which art in heaven, teacheth us to draw near to God with all holy reverence and confidence, as children to a father able and ready to help us; and that we should pray with and for others.

    The Lord’s Prayer is structured around a preface (or introduction) and a conclusion with six petitions in between. The preface isn’t a request but rather an orientation. That is, in the preface we remind ourselves of the one to whom we will soon offer our prayers.

    Because of Christ, we have been adopted into the family of God. God has made us to be part of his people and we are now citizens of his kingdom. Christ is our … Read More »

  • Westminster Shorter Catechism, Week 44

    Q. 99. 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.

    The Christian is more than a sinner who has been forgiven. He is the sinner declared both righteous and a child of God. We could say “the forensic leads to the relational”. The relational aspect of worship and prayer fills the life of the Christian. And prayer isn’t only for the individual but for the corporate as well. Prayer is a command from God (“pray without ceasing,”

    1 Thessalonians 5:17) and thus sometimes we pray even when we don’t understand how it will turn out. We continue to be obedient in prayer and … Read More »