Westminster Larger Catechism

182. How doth the Spirit help us to pray?

We not knowing what to pray for as we ought, the Spirit helpeth our infirmities, by enabling us to understand both for whom, and what, and how prayer is to be made; and by working and quickening in our hearts 1although not in all persons, nor at all times, in the same measure those apprehensions, […]

183. For whom are we to pray?

We are to pray for the whole church of Christ upon earth; 3Eph. 6:18, Ps. 28:9 for magistrates, 41 Tim. 2:1–2 and ministers; 5Col. 4:3 for ourselves, 6Gen. 32:11 our brethren, 7James 5:16 yea, our enemies; 8Matt. 5:44 and for all sorts of men living, 91 Tim. 2:1–2 or that shall live hereafter; 10John 17:20, […]

184. For what things are we to pray?

We are to pray for all things tending to the glory of God, 13Matt. 6:9 the welfare of the church, 14Ps. 51:18, Ps. 122:6 our own 15Matt. 7:11 or others, good; 16Ps. 125:4 but not for any thing that is unlawful. 171 John 5:14

185. How are we to pray?

We are to pray with an awful apprehension of the majesty of God, 18Eccl. 5:1 and deep sense of our own unworthiness, 19Gen. 18:27, Gen. 32:10 necessities, 20Luke 15:17–19 and sins; 21Luke 18:13–14 with penitent, 22Ps. 51:17 thankful, 23Phil. 4:6 and enlarged hearts; 241 Sam. 1:15, 1 Sam. 2:1 with understanding, 251 Cor. 14:15 faith, […]

187. How is the Lord’ s prayer to be used?

The Lord’ s prayer is not only for direction, as a pattern, according to which we are to make other prayers; but may also be used as a prayer, so that it be done with understanding, faith, reverence, and other graces necessary to the right performance of the duty of prayer. 35Matt. 6:9, Luke 11:2

189. What doth the preface of the Lord’ s prayer teach us?

The preface of the Lord’ s prayer 36contained in these words, Our Father which art in heaven, 42Matt. 6:9 teacheth us, when we pray, to draw near to God with confidence of his fatherly goodness, and our interest therein; 37Luke 11:13, Rom. 8:15 with reverence, and all other child-like dispositions, 38Isa. 64:9 heavenly affections, 39Ps. […]

190. What do we pray for in the first petition?

In the first petition, 43which is, Hallowed by thy name, 58Matt. 6:9 acknowledging the utter inability and indisposition that is in ourselves and all men to honor God aright, 442 Cor. 3:5, Ps. 51:15 we pray, that God would by his grace enable and incline us and others to know, to acknowledge, and highly to […]

191. What do we pray for in the second petition?

In the second petition, 59which is, Thy kingdom come, 72Matt. 6:10 acknowledging ourselves and all mankind to be by nature under the dominion of sin and Satan, 60Eph. 2:2–3 we pray, that the kingdom of sin and Satan may be destroyed, 61Ps. 68:1,18, Rev. 12:10–11 the gospel propagated throughout the world, 622 Thess. 3:1 the […]

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