In this section of the Baptist Larger Catechism, we begin our discussion on the Lord’s Prayer. These questions address the preface and the first two petitions in the Lord’s Prayer. These questions are an expansion of questions 110 – 113 in the Keach Catechism. The extended responses are based on Questions 186 – 191 in the Westminster Larger Catechism.
As before, feel free to comment on the questions below.
Q. 181: What rule has God given for our direction in prayer?
A: The whole Word of God is of use to direct us in prayer,1 but the special rule of direction is that prayer, which Christ taught His disciples, commonly called the Lord’s Prayer.2 The Lord’s Prayer not only direct us as a model for our other prayers but may also be used as a prayer itself that will promote our understanding, faith, reverence, and the other gifts of God in us that are necessary for us to pray properly.3
Q. 182: What does the preface of the Lord’s Prayer teach us?
A: The preface of the Lord’s prayer, Our Father in heaven,1 teaches us that when we pray we should draw near to God, confident of His fatherly goodness and the benefits to us from that goodness,2 reverently and in every way like a child,3 and with heavenly feelings4 and a proper awareness of His sovereign power, His majesty, and His graciousness in allowing us to approach Him.5 The preface also teaches us to pray with and for others.6
1. Matthew 6:9
Q. 183: What do we pray for in the first petition?
A: In the first petition, hallowed be Your name,1 we acknowledge that we and all human beings are completely incapable of honoring God properly and are even disinclined to do so.2 We pray then that He would by His grace enable and incline us and others to know, to acknowledge, and to esteem Him highly,3 His titles,4 attributes,5 regulations, word,6 works, and everything else by which He is pleased to reveal Himself,7 and to glorify Him in thought, word,8 and deed,9 to the effect that he would thwart and do away with atheism,10 spiritual ignorance,11 idolatry,12 or any kind of desecration,13 and whatever else dishonors Him,14 and that by His invincible providence, He would direct and regulate everything to His own glory.15
1. Matthew 6:9
4. Psalm 83:18
12. Psalm 97:7
Q. 184: What do we pray for in the second petition?
A: In the second petition, Your kingdom come,1 we acknowledge that we and all humans are by nature under the dominion of sin and Satan.2 We pray then that the kingdom of sin and Satan be destroyed,3 that the gospel be preached throughout the whole world,4 that the Jews be converted,5 and that the full number of the Gentiles come in.6 We pray that the church would be supplied with evangelical officers and regulations,7 purged from corruption,8 and recognized and supported by the civil authorities.9 We pray for the regulations of Christ to be administered fully and that these regulations may effectively convert sinners, while confirming, comforting, and building up those who are already converted.10 And we pray that Christ would rule over our hearts in the here and now,11 that he would hurry up and come again, when we shall reign with him forever,12 and that he would be pleased so to rule over everything that goes on in the world as may best bring about all these results.13
1. Matthew 6:10
12. Revelation 22:20