12 June 2005
Psalm 62:8, 1 John 5:14, Matthew 26:39, John 16:23, Daniel 9:4 & Philippians 4:6
The Westminster Shorter Catechism
Q. 98. What is prayer?
A. Prayer is an offering up of our desires unto God, for things agreeable to His will, in the name of Christ, with confession of our sins, and thankful acknowledgement of His mercies.
The Westminster Shorter Catechism in Modern English:
Q.98. What is prayer?
A. Prayer is offering our desires to God in the name of Christ for things that agree with His will, confessing our sins, and thankfully recognising His mercies.
1. Some feel that prayer is simply petitions of God. Is this the only part of prayer?
No, petitions are certainly not the only part of prayer though they are basic to prayer as we offer up our desires to Him.
2. What other kinds of prayer are legitimate?
We can confess in prayer and we can give our thanksgivings to God. However, the matter of our supplications to God are important in His sight.
3. When we say we are to offer up our desires to God do we simply mean the Father?
Certainly we do not mean simply the God the Father though most prayers are offered in that way, in the name of Jesus Christ. However, when we pray to God it is understood that all members of the Trinity are being addressed.
4. Could you list some of the things that would be agreeable to His will in our prayers?
As we pray we can ask Him for spiritual grace and strength for each day, for deliverance from temptations, for the pardon of our sins, for the vision of that wonderful day we will be with Him, for our brethren in the Lord.
5. Why is it necessary that we pray in the name of Jesus Christ?
We must pray in the name of Christ because our sinfulness is so great that we have no ability to reach God without the Mediator that has been supplied for us.
6. Why is it necessary to confess our sins in our prayers?
It is necessary for us to confess our sins for He will not hear us if there is iniquity in our hearts (Psalm 66:18).
7. What are the mercies for which we should be thankful?
These mercies are His free gifts to us, both spiritual and temporal. His mercy is great and free and we could not live without it.