Praying in Grace By the Power of God

By Pastor Benjamin Glaser - Posted at Thoughts From Parson Farms:

How the Trinity Informs and Enlivens Our Time Spent in Prayer

Good Morning,

Back in the Fall of 2022 we began our walk through the Westminster Larger Catechism. It’s hard to believe that we are here in the Spring of 2024 starting the last section of the WLC. Just like with the Shorter, the Larger ends with a talk about prayer, using the Lord’s Prayer as a model. In today’s catechism question the Divines are going to define for us what the Christian is to do with prayer and what prayer means. Kind of like the sacrament discussion we just finished a believer thinking about a subject like this can seem old hat. We are called to pray every day, prayer makes up a significant portion of what we see people do in the Bible and if you were going to isolate one particular thing that stands out in the Christian’s life it would be our conversating with the living and the true God. To pray well means to know what you are doing, not so much about the mechanics, but its purpose, and so as we get into questions 178-196 each of the Q/A’s will help us do better at resting and trusting not only in the mercy of prayer, but in its Trinitarian power.

Here is the lone question for today:

Q. 178. What is prayer?

A. Prayer is an offering up of our desires unto God, in the name of Christ, by the help of his Spirit; with confession of our sins, and thankful acknowledgment of his mercies.

Those of you who grew up in 90s evangelicalism will remember the acrostic A.C.T.S. The letters form a helpful way to make a plan for prayer and were something I was taught at a youth rally in high school. It stands for Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, and Supplication. Like most things that involve stuff that is useful it was not created thirty years ago. If you notice the pattern of the Lord’s Prayer it follows the basic alignment of beginning prayer with God’s name (Our Father), with confession of our sins (Forgive Us Our Debts), thanks (Thine is the Kingdom), and asking for particular gifts (Give Us This Day Our Daily Bread).


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