Our Father

Posted under The Rectory Bulletin | Westminster Shorter Catechism

You’ll recall (I hope) that we were looking at what the Westminster Shorter Catechism said about prayer. After that introductory question, it then turns to the Lord’s Prayer.

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, (Matt. 6:9)) teacheth us to draw near to God with all holy reverence and confidence, as children to a father, able and ready to help us; (Rom. 8:15, Luke 11:13) and that we should pray with and for others. (Acts 12:5, 1 Tim. 2:1–2)

Often when a child starts out with a long, convoluted request you know immediately what they are after. You nod patiently as they slowly come to the point, but the answer is already in your head. Children aren't as subtle as they think they are!

When we address God there is no need to beat around the bush. Yes, we should come to God with the respect due to his holiness but we should come knowing that he already knows the contents of our hearts. We wont surprise or shock him as we pray. He knows.

More than that, we should approach God knowing that he is full of grace. How do we know that is the case? We look to the love which he had which meant he sent his son to die for us. As Paul puts it:

” If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?” (Romans 8:31-32)”

There is another thing, though. We are not only children, but part of a family. God is our Father so we bring to him our prayers for others too, as they pray for us. Christianity is a family affair

P G Wodehouse

“many a man who has seen the light is apt to switch it off when the Old Adam starts to come to life in him”

Hallowed be thy name

101. What do we pray for in the first petition? In the first petition, (which is, Hallowed be thy name, (Matt. 6:9)) we pray, That God would enable us and others to glorify him in all that whereby he maketh himself known; (Ps. 67:2–3) and that he would dispose all things to his own glory. (Ps. 83)

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