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has commanded to be asked of him, with the true affection and desire of our heart;d and, with a deep sense of our indigence and misery,e prostrate ourselves as suppliants before the divine Majesty,f
e Likewise the Spirit helpeth our infirmities; for we know not what we should pray for as we ought; but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings that cannot be uttered. Rom. viii. 26. And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us. I John v. 14. If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nething wavering. James i.5, 6. Seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness; and all other things shall be added unto you. Matt. vi. 33. Covet earnestly the best gifts. I Cor. xii. 31. Desire spiritual gifts. 1 Cor. xiv. l. Col. iii. 1, 2...
d The Lord is nigh unto all that call upon him in truth. He will fulfil the desire of them that fear him ; he also will hear their cry, and will save them. Ps. cxlv. 18, 19. Call on the Lord out of a pure heart. 2 Tim. ii. 22. Ye shall call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, saith the Lord; and I will hearken unto you; and ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart. Jer. xxix. 11, 12, 13.
e The way of man is not in himself; it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps. Jer. x. 23. Man's goings are of the Lord; how can a man then understand his own way? Prov. xx. 24. Who can understand his errors ? cleanse thou me from my secret faults. Ps. xix. 12. But, I am poor and needy; make haste unto me, 0 God; thou art my help and my deliverer: O Lord, make no long tarrying. Ps. lxx. 5. But I am poor and sorrowful; let thy salvation, O God, set me on high. Ps. lxix. 29. Cause me to know the way wherein I should walk; for I lift my soul unto thee. Teach me to do thy will ; for thou art my God. Ps. cxliii, 8, 10.
f Arise, O Lord ; O God lift up thine hand; forget not the humble. Ps. x. 12. He forgetteth not the cry of the humble. Ps. ix. 12. When "he was in affliction, he besought the Lord his God, and humbled himself greatly before the God of
resting on this firm assurance,s that we, though unworthy, yet for Christ's sake, are certainly heard by God,h even as he has promised us in his word.i
118. Q. What are those things which he has commanded us to ask of him?
A. All things necessary both for soul and body;j
his fathers, and prayed unto him; and he was entreated of him, and heard his supplications. 2 Chron, xxxiii. 12,13. O come, let us worship, and bow down ; let us kneel before the Lord our maker. Ps. xcv. 6. Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God. 1 Pet. v. 6. .
8 How then shall they call on him whom they have not believed ? Rom. x. 14. Let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. James i. 6. Let us draw near with a true heart, in full as surance of faith. Heb. x. 22. And hereby we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before him. 1 John iii. 19.
b And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. John xiv. 13. Verily, verily, I say unto you, whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you. John xvi. 23. Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name; ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full, John xvi. 24. Whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus. Col. iii. 17.
i For every one that asketh receiveth : and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. Matt. vii. 8. He will be very gracious unto thee at the voice of thy cry; when he shall hear it, he will answer thee. Isa. xxx. 19. Ye shall call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me; and I will hearken unto you ;7(saith the Lord.) Jer. xxix. 12. They shall call on my name; and I will hear them; I will say, It is my people; and they shall say, The Lord is my God. Zech. xiii. 9.
į Let us come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need. Heb.
which our Lord Jesus Christ has comprised in that prayer, which he himself has taught us.
119. Q. What is that prayer?
1. Hallowed be thy name,
give them that trespass against us. 6. And lead us not into temptation, but
deliver us from evil; for thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever
and ever. Amen. 120. Q. Why does Christ teach us to call God our Father?
A. That, as an introduction to our petitions, he might stir up in us such a reverence and confidence in God, as is meet for the sons of God; which must be the ground and foundation of our prayer: to wit, that God through Christ is made our Father, and will much less deny unto us those things which we ask of him with a true faith, than our earthly parents deny unto us earthly things.
iv. 16. Give us this day our daily bread. Matt. vi. 11. Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you. Matt. vi. 33. Covet earnestly the best gifts. 1 Cor. xii. 31. Desire spiritual gifts. I Cor. xiv. 1. Every good and perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no va. riableness, neither shadow of turning. James i. 17.
* Matt. vi. 9-13, Luke xi. 2-4.
121. Q. Why is it added—Which art in heaven?
A. Lest we should think too meanly or too much according to our own earthly conceptions of the divine Majesty of God; m and also that we should look to his omnipotent power alone for all things that are necessary for our soul and body.n
122. Q. What is the first petition of the Lord's
1 If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent? or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion ? If ye, then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him? Luke xi. 11-13. Matt. vii. 9–11.
m Can any hide himself in secret places that I shall not see him? saith the Lord. Do not I fill heaven and earth ?. saith the Lord. Jer. xxiii. 24. God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands ; neither is worshipped with mens' hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things. That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us : for in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring. Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man's device. Acts xvii. 24, 25, 27-29. Ps. cxv. 3.
n For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek ; for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. Rom. x. 12. But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus. Phil. iv. 19.
A. “Hallowed be thy name.” That is, Grant us first to know thee aright, and to worship, praise, and magnify thy omnipotency, goodness, justice, mercy, and truth shining in all thy works;P and
• And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent. John xvii. 3. Thus saith the Lord, Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches : but let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the Lord which exercise loving kindness, judgment, and righteousness in the earth; for in these things do I delight, saith the Lord. Jer. ix. 23, 24. And thou, Solomon, my son, know thou the God of thy father, and serve him with a perfect heart and with a willing mind; for the Lord searcheth all hearts and understandeth the imaginations of the thoughts: if thou seek him he will be found of thee, but if thou forsake him, he will cast thee off for ever. 1 Chron. xxviii. 9. If thou criest after knowledge, and liftest up thy voice for understanding; then shalt thou understand the fear of the Lord, and find the knowledge of God; for the Lord giveth wisdom. Prov. ii. 3, 5, 6. And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thon, Simon Bar-jona ; for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. Matt. xvi. 17.
p Righteous art thou, O Lord, and upright are thy judgments. Ps. cxix. 137. The Lord is good to all; and his tender mercies are over all his works. The Lord is righteous in all his ways, and holy in all his works. Ps. cxlv. 9, 17. And the Lord passed by before him, and proclaimed, The Lord, the Lord God, merciful, and gracious, long-suffering and abundant in good. ness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children's children, unto the third and to the fourth generation. Exod. xxxiv. 6, 7. The Lord reigneth; he is clothed with majesty: the Lord is clothed with strength, wherewith he hath girded himself. Ps. ciii. 1. The Lord is great