26 June 2005
Isaiah 64:9, Luke 11:13, Romans 8:15, Ephesians 6:18, Acts 12:5 & Zechariah 8:21
The Westminster Shorter Catechism
Q.100100. 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 Westminster Shorter Catechism in Modern English:
Q.100. What does the beginning of the Lord’s prayer teach us?
A. The beginning of the Lord’s prayer (Our Father in heaven) teaches us to draw near to God with completely holy reverence and confidence, as children to a father who is able and ready to help us. It also teaches that we should pray with and for others.
1. When we say “Our Father” in the prayer are we speaking of only God the Father?
No, we are speaking of the Triune God. The Father is mentioned but the Son and the Holy Spirit are included because they are the same in essence.
2. Is it possible for everyone to pray this prayer?
No, it is a prayer that only those who are believers are able to pray. It is only those who have the Holy Spirit dwelling in them because of their relationship to Jesus Christ that can call out “Our Father” and sincerely mean it.
3. What can we be taught from the words “Our Father” in the prayer?
We can be taught that we can address our Lord with an attitude that is likened (though deeper) to the attitude of a child toward his earthly father. It is an attitude of love, adoration and delight.
4. Why is it important for us to know God is in heaven?
It is important for us as by this we can direct our prayers to Him away from the cares of this world and to expect our blessings from above. It should also teach us to be careful of our attitude toward God that it is a holy attitude and an attitude of carefulness of our words directed toward Him (Ecclesiastes 5:2).
5. Should we not remember that the preface contains the word “Our” as we pray?
Yes, we should remember this constantly. This should teach us to pray with and for others. It should remind us that we are “one in Christ Jesus” and that we are not alone no matter what our trouble or difficulty might be here on earth.