In this section of the Baptist Larger Catechism, we begin our discussion on prayer. These particular questions give a definition of prayer and explain why prayer should be given to God alone. These questions are a substantial extension and expansion of question 109 in the Keach Catechism. The extended responses are based on Questions 178 – 181 in the Westminster Larger Catechism.
As before, feel free to comment on the questions below.
Q. 173: What is prayer?
A: Prayer is offering our desires to God1 in the name of Christ2 with the help of His Spirit,3 confessing our sins,4 and thankfully recognizing His mercies.5
1. Psalm 62:8
3. Romans 8:26
Q. 174: Should we pray only to God?
A: God is the only one capable of searching human hearts,1 the only one who hears requests,2 pardons sins,3 and fulfills the desires of everyone,4 and He is the only one to believe in5 and truly worshiped.6 Since prayer is an integral part of religious worship,7 it is to be made by everyone only to Him8 and to no one else.9
2. Psalm 65:2
3. Micah 7:18
6. Matthew 4:10
Q. 175: What is the significance of praying in Christ’s name?
A: When we pray in Christ’s name, we obey His command and confidently rely on His promises as a basis for requesting mercy for His sake.1 This involves not just mentioning His name2 but drawing our encouragement to pray and our boldness, strength, and hope that our prayers will be answered from Christ Himself and His mediation.3
Q. 176: Why must we pray in Christ’s name?
A: Human sinfulness has so far separated us from God that we cannot gain access to His presence without a mediator to bridge that separation,1 and since no one in heaven or earth has been appointed to or is fit for that glorious job except Christ alone,2 we must pray in His name only and in no other.3