Wednesday, August 16, 2017
The Heidelberg Catechism
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Part III: Gratitude: The Lord's Prayer: LORD'S DAY 45


Q & A 116: Why do Christians need to pray?

Because prayer is the most important part
of the thankfulness God requires of us.1
And also because God gives his grace and Holy Spirit
only to those who pray continually and groan inwardly,
asking God for these gifts
and thanking him for them.2

1 Ps. 50:14-15; 116:12-19; 1 Thess. 5:16-18
2 Matt. 7:7-8; Luke 11:9-13

Q & A 117: How does God want us to pray so that he will listen to us?

First, we must pray from the heart
to no other than the one true God,
who has revealed himself in his Word,
asking for everything he has commanded us to ask for.1

Second, we must acknowledge our need and misery,
hiding nothing,
and humble ourselves in his majestic presence.2

Third, we must rest on this unshakable foundation:
even though we do not deserve it,
God will surely listen to our prayer
because of Christ our Lord.
That is what he promised us in his Word.3

1 Ps. 145:18-20; John 4:22-24; Rom. 8:26-27; James 1:5; 1 John 5:14-15
2 2 Chron. 7:14; Ps. 2:11; 34:18; 62:8; Isa. 66:2; Rev. 4
3 Dan. 9:17-19; Matt. 7:8; John 14:13-14; 16:23; Rom. 10:13; James 1:6

Q & A 118: What did God command us to pray for?

Everything we need, spiritually and physically,1
as embraced in the prayer
Christ our Lord himself taught us.

1 James 1:17; Matt. 6:33

Q & A 119: What is this prayer?

Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one.
For yours is the kingdom
and the power
and the glory forever.
Amen.1*

1 Matt. 6:9-13; Luke 11:2-4
* Earlier and better manuscripts of Matthew 6 omit the words "For yours is... Amen."

Part III: Gratitude: The Lord's Prayer: LORD'S DAY 46


Q & A 120: Why did Christ command us to call God "our Father"?

At the very beginning of our prayer
Christ wants to kindle in us
what is basic to our prayer -
the childlike awe and trust
that God through Christ has become
our Father.

Our fathers do not refuse us
the things of this life;
God our Father will even less refuse to give us
what we ask in faith.1

1 Matt. 7:9-11; Luke 11:11-13

Q & A 121: Why the words "in heaven"?

These words teach us
not to think of God's heavenly majesty
as something earthly,1
and to expect everything
for body and soul
from his almighty power.2

1 Jer. 23:23-24; Acts 17:24-25
2 Matt. 6:25-34; Rom. 8:31-32

Part III: Gratitude: The Lord's Prayer: LORD'S DAY 47


Q & A 122: What does the first request mean?

"Hallowed be your name" means,

Help us to really know you,1
to bless, worship, and praise you
for all your works
and for all that shines forth from them:
your almighty power, wisdom, kindness,
justice, mercy, and truth.2

And it means,

Help us to direct all our living -
what we think, say, and do -
so that your name will never be blasphemed because of us
but always honored and praised.3

1 Jer. 9:23-24; 31:33-34; Matt. 16:17; John 17:3
2 Ex. 34:5-8; Ps. 145; Jer. 32:16-20; Luke 1:46-55, 68-75; Rom. 11:33-36
3 Ps. 115:1; Matt. 5:16

Part III: Gratitude: The Lord's Prayer: LORD'S DAY 48


Q & A 123: What does the second request mean?

"Your kingdom come" means,
Rule us by your Word and Spirit in such a way
that more and more we submit to you.1

Keep your church strong, and add to it.2

Destroy the devil's work;
destroy every force which revolts against you
and every conspiracy against your Word.3

Do this until your kingdom is so complete and perfect
that in it you are
all in all.4

1 Ps. 119:5, 105; 143:10; Matt. 6:33
2 Ps. 122:6-9; Matt. 16:18; Acts 2:42-47
3 Rom. 16:20; 1 John 3:8
4 Rom. 8:22-23; 1 Cor. 15:28; Rev. 22:17, 20

Part III: Gratitude: The Lord's Prayer: LORD'S DAY 49


Q & A 124: What does the third request mean?

"Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven" means,

Help us and all people
to reject our own wills
and to obey your will without any back talk.
Your will alone is good.1

Help us one and all to carry out the work we are called to,2
as willingly and faithfully as the angels in heaven.3

1 Matt. 7:21; 16:24-26; Luke 22:42; Rom. 12:1-2; Tit. 2:11-12
2 1 Cor. 7:17-24; Eph. 6:5-9
3 Ps. 103:20-21

Part III: Gratitude: The Lord's Prayer: LORD'S DAY 50


Q & A 125: What does the fourth request mean?

"Give us today our daily bread" means,

Do take care of all our physical needs1
so that we come to know
that you are the only source of everything good,2
and that neither our work and worry
nor your gifts
can do us any good without your blessing.3

And so help us to give up our trust in creatures
and to put trust in you alone.4

1 Ps. 104:27-30; 145:15-16; Matt. 6:25-34
2 Acts 14:17; 17:25; James 1:17
3 Deut. 8:3; Ps. 37:16; 127:1-2; 1 Cor. 15:58
4 Ps. 55:22; 62; 146; Jer. 17:5-8; Heb. 13:5-6

Part III: Gratitude: The Lord's Prayer: LORD'S DAY 51


Q & A 126: What does the fifth request mean?

"Forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors" means,

Because of Christ's blood,
do not hold against us, poor sinners that we are,
any of the sins we do
or the evil that constantly clings to us.1

Forgive us just as we are fully determined,
as evidence of your grace in us,
to forgive our neighbors.2

1 Ps. 51:1-7; 143:2; Rom. 8:1; 1 John 2:1-2
2 Matt. 6:14-15; 18:21-35

Part III: Gratitude: The Lord's Prayer: LORD'S DAY 52


Q & A 127: What does the sixth request mean?

"And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one" means,

By ourselves we are too weak
to hold our own even for a moment.1

And our sworn enemies -
the devil,2 the world,3 and our own flesh - 4
never stop attacking us.

And so, Lord,
uphold us and make us strong
with the strength of your Holy Spirit,
so that we may not go down to defeat
in this spiritual struggle,5
but may firmly resist our enemies
until we finally win the complete victory.6

1 Ps. 103:14-16; John 15:1-5
2 2 Cor. 11:14; Eph. 6:10-13; 1 Pet. 5:8
3 John 15:18-21
4 Rom. 7:23; Gal. 5:17
5 Matt. 10:19-20; 26:41; Mark 13:33; Rom. 5:3-5
6 1 Cor. 10:13; 1 Thess. 3:13; 5:23

Q & A 128: What does your conclusion to this prayer mean?

"For yours is the kingdom
and the power
and the glory forever" means,

We have made all these requests of you
because, as our all-powerful king,
you not only want to,
but are able to give us all that is good;1
and because your holy name,
and not we ourselves,
should receive all the praise, forever.2

1 Rom. 10:11-13; 2 Pet. 2:9
2 Ps. 115:1; John 14:13

Q & A 129: What does that little word "Amen" express?

"Amen" means,

This is sure to be!

It is even more sure
that God listens to my prayer,
than that I really desire
what I pray for.1

1 Isa. 65:24; 2 Cor. 1:20; 2 Tim. 2:13

Part III: Gratitude: The Lord's Prayer: LORD'S DAY 45


Q & A 116: Why do Christians need to pray?

Because prayer is the most important part
of the thankfulness God requires of us.1
And also because God gives his grace and Holy Spirit
only to those who pray continually and groan inwardly,
asking God for these gifts
and thanking him for them.2

1 Ps. 50:14-15; 116:12-19; 1 Thess. 5:16-18
2 Matt. 7:7-8; Luke 11:9-13

Q & A 117: How does God want us to pray so that he will listen to us?

First, we must pray from the heart
to no other than the one true God,
who has revealed himself in his Word,
asking for everything he has commanded us to ask for.1

Second, we must acknowledge our need and misery,
hiding nothing,
and humble ourselves in his majestic presence.2

Third, we must rest on this unshakable foundation:
even though we do not deserve it,
God will surely listen to our prayer
because of Christ our Lord.
That is what he promised us in his Word.3

1 Ps. 145:18-20; John 4:22-24; Rom. 8:26-27; James 1:5; 1 John 5:14-15
2 2 Chron. 7:14; Ps. 2:11; 34:18; 62:8; Isa. 66:2; Rev. 4
3 Dan. 9:17-19; Matt. 7:8; John 14:13-14; 16:23; Rom. 10:13; James 1:6

Q & A 118: What did God command us to pray for?

Everything we need, spiritually and physically,1
as embraced in the prayer
Christ our Lord himself taught us.

1 James 1:17; Matt. 6:33

Q & A 119: What is this prayer?

Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one.
For yours is the kingdom
and the power
and the glory forever.
Amen.1*

1 Matt. 6:9-13; Luke 11:2-4
* Earlier and better manuscripts of Matthew 6 omit the words "For yours is... Amen."

Part III: Gratitude: The Lord's Prayer: LORD'S DAY 46


Q & A 120: Why did Christ command us to call God "our Father"?

At the very beginning of our prayer
Christ wants to kindle in us
what is basic to our prayer -
the childlike awe and trust
that God through Christ has become
our Father.

Our fathers do not refuse us
the things of this life;
God our Father will even less refuse to give us
what we ask in faith.1

1 Matt. 7:9-11; Luke 11:11-13

Q & A 121: Why the words "in heaven"?

These words teach us
not to think of God's heavenly majesty
as something earthly,1
and to expect everything
for body and soul
from his almighty power.2

1 Jer. 23:23-24; Acts 17:24-25
2 Matt. 6:25-34; Rom. 8:31-32

Part III: Gratitude: The Lord's Prayer: LORD'S DAY 47


Q & A 122: What does the first request mean?

"Hallowed be your name" means,

Help us to really know you,1
to bless, worship, and praise you
for all your works
and for all that shines forth from them:
your almighty power, wisdom, kindness,
justice, mercy, and truth.2

And it means,

Help us to direct all our living -
what we think, say, and do -
so that your name will never be blasphemed because of us
but always honored and praised.3

1 Jer. 9:23-24; 31:33-34; Matt. 16:17; John 17:3
2 Ex. 34:5-8; Ps. 145; Jer. 32:16-20; Luke 1:46-55, 68-75; Rom. 11:33-36
3 Ps. 115:1; Matt. 5:16

Part III: Gratitude: The Lord's Prayer: LORD'S DAY 48


Q & A 123: What does the second request mean?

"Your kingdom come" means,
Rule us by your Word and Spirit in such a way
that more and more we submit to you.1

Keep your church strong, and add to it.2

Destroy the devil's work;
destroy every force which revolts against you
and every conspiracy against your Word.3

Do this until your kingdom is so complete and perfect
that in it you are
all in all.4

1 Ps. 119:5, 105; 143:10; Matt. 6:33
2 Ps. 122:6-9; Matt. 16:18; Acts 2:42-47
3 Rom. 16:20; 1 John 3:8
4 Rom. 8:22-23; 1 Cor. 15:28; Rev. 22:17, 20

Part III: Gratitude: The Lord's Prayer: LORD'S DAY 49


Q & A 124: What does the third request mean?

"Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven" means,

Help us and all people
to reject our own wills
and to obey your will without any back talk.
Your will alone is good.1

Help us one and all to carry out the work we are called to,2
as willingly and faithfully as the angels in heaven.3

1 Matt. 7:21; 16:24-26; Luke 22:42; Rom. 12:1-2; Tit. 2:11-12
2 1 Cor. 7:17-24; Eph. 6:5-9
3 Ps. 103:20-21

Part III: Gratitude: The Lord's Prayer: LORD'S DAY 50


Q & A 125: What does the fourth request mean?

"Give us today our daily bread" means,

Do take care of all our physical needs1
so that we come to know
that you are the only source of everything good,2
and that neither our work and worry
nor your gifts
can do us any good without your blessing.3

And so help us to give up our trust in creatures
and to put trust in you alone.4

1 Ps. 104:27-30; 145:15-16; Matt. 6:25-34
2 Acts 14:17; 17:25; James 1:17
3 Deut. 8:3; Ps. 37:16; 127:1-2; 1 Cor. 15:58
4 Ps. 55:22; 62; 146; Jer. 17:5-8; Heb. 13:5-6

Part III: Gratitude: The Lord's Prayer: LORD'S DAY 51


Q & A 126: What does the fifth request mean?

"Forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors" means,

Because of Christ's blood,
do not hold against us, poor sinners that we are,
any of the sins we do
or the evil that constantly clings to us.1

Forgive us just as we are fully determined,
as evidence of your grace in us,
to forgive our neighbors.2

1 Ps. 51:1-7; 143:2; Rom. 8:1; 1 John 2:1-2
2 Matt. 6:14-15; 18:21-35

Part III: Gratitude: The Lord's Prayer: LORD'S DAY 52


Q & A 127: What does the sixth request mean?

"And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one" means,

By ourselves we are too weak
to hold our own even for a moment.1

And our sworn enemies -
the devil,2 the world,3 and our own flesh - 4
never stop attacking us.

And so, Lord,
uphold us and make us strong
with the strength of your Holy Spirit,
so that we may not go down to defeat
in this spiritual struggle,5
but may firmly resist our enemies
until we finally win the complete victory.6

1 Ps. 103:14-16; John 15:1-5
2 2 Cor. 11:14; Eph. 6:10-13; 1 Pet. 5:8
3 John 15:18-21
4 Rom. 7:23; Gal. 5:17
5 Matt. 10:19-20; 26:41; Mark 13:33; Rom. 5:3-5
6 1 Cor. 10:13; 1 Thess. 3:13; 5:23

Q & A 128: What does your conclusion to this prayer mean?

"For yours is the kingdom
and the power
and the glory forever" means,

We have made all these requests of you
because, as our all-powerful king,
you not only want to,
but are able to give us all that is good;1
and because your holy name,
and not we ourselves,
should receive all the praise, forever.2

1 Rom. 10:11-13; 2 Pet. 2:9
2 Ps. 115:1; John 14:13

Q & A 129: What does that little word "Amen" express?

"Amen" means,

This is sure to be!

It is even more sure
that God listens to my prayer,
than that I really desire
what I pray for.1

1 Isa. 65:24; 2 Cor. 1:20; 2 Tim. 2:13

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