Question 99: What rule hath God given for our direction in prayer?
Answer: The whole Word of God is of use to direct us in prayer; but the special rule of direction is that form of prayer which Christ taught his disciples, commonly called The Lord's Prayer.
Yesterday I mentioned that the pastor of Sylvania Church often reads Puritan prayers from The Valley of Vision. He also does something else that I think is very interesting; he prays from the psalms. He will take one of the psalms and pray it aloud, adapting it to the congregation for which he is praying. 2 Timothy 3:16-17, says: “All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.” Therefore, the Westminster Puritans are correct in their assertion that the whole Word of God is useful to direct us in prayer.
The disciples asked Jesus to teach them to pray, (cf. Luke 11:1-4) And He said to them,
“When you pray, say:
‘Father, hallowed be Your name.
Your kingdom come.
‘Give us each day our daily bread.
‘And forgive us our sins,
For we ourselves also forgive everyone who is indebted to us.
And lead us not into temptation.’”
In Matthew 6:1-15, the Lord teaches the disciples more extensively about prayer; when, where and how to pray. When the Lord gives the module prayer in Matthew 6:9-13, he adds to Lukes version between praying for God’s kingdom and our needs, the Lord adds to pray for God’s will to be done on earth as it is in heaven. It is the version that is recorded in Matthew that the Westminster Puritans expound upon in the final questions and answers of the Shorter Catechism. I look forward to exploring each of these.
Your Servant for Jesus’ sake