Reformed Catechism Week 40 Resources

Week 40 Question:

What should we pray?

Week 40 Answer:

The whole Word of God directs and inspires us in what we should pray, including the prayer Jesus himself taught us.

Week 40 Verse:

Ephesians 3:14-21

Commentary

Great is the profit to be derived from the…Scriptures and their assistance is sufficient for every need. Paul was pointing this out when he said, 'Whatever things have been written have been written for our instruction, upon whom the final age of the world has come, that through the patience and the consolation afforded by the Scriptures we may have hope.' (Rom. 15:4; 1 Cor. 10:11) The divine words, indeed, are a treasury containing every sort of remedy, so that, whether one needs to put down senseless pride, or…to trample on the love of riches, or to despise pain, or to cultivate cheerfulness and acquire patience—in them one may find in abundance the means to do so.

John Chrysostom (347–407). Archbishop of Constantinople, John was born in Antioch. He was given the title Chrysostom which means “golden mouth” because of his eloquent preaching. He is recognized by the Eastern Orthodox Church and the Catholic Church as a saint and Doctor of the Church. Chrysostom is known for his Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom, and his vast homiletical works including 67 homilies on Genesis, 90 on the Gospel of Matthew, and 88 on the Gospel of John (from one of which this quote is taken).

From “Homily 37: On John” in The Fathers of the Church: Commentary on Saint John the Apostle and Evangelist: Homilies 1–47 by John Chrysostom, translated by Sister Thomas Aquinas Goggin (The Catholic University of America Press, 1957), 359.

Video Commentary

NCC Q40: What should we pray? from The Gospel Coalition on Vimeo.

 

Supporting Scriptures

Matthew 6:9-13

Prayer

Gracious and holy Father!… Unworthy we are in ourselves to appear in thy most holy presence, both by reason of the sins of our nature, and the sins of our lives, even since that time that we have had some knowledge of thy blessed truth; which holy truth we have not entertained nor professed as we should have done, but oftentimes against the light that thou hast kindled in our hearts by thy Word and Spirit, we have committed many sins…. But thou art a gracious and merciful Father unto us in Jesus Christ, in the abundance of thy love and mercy. In him we come unto thee, beseeching thee, for his sake, not to give us up to these inward and spiritual judgments; but vouchsafe us a true insight into our own estates, without deceiving of our own souls, and from thence, true humiliation. And then we beseech thee to speak peace unto us in thy Christ, and say to our souls by thy Holy Spirit, that thou art our salvation. And for clearer evidence that we are in thy favour, let us find the blessed work of thy Holy Spirit opening our understandings, clearing our judgments, kindling our affections, discovering our corruptions, framing us every way to be such as thou mayest take pleasure and delight in. And because thou hast ordained thy holy word 'to be a light unto our feet, and a guide and direction to all our ways and paths,' and to be a powerful means to bring us more and more out of the thraldom of sin and Satan, to the blessed liberty of thy children, we beseech thee, therefore, to bless thy word to these and all other good ends and purposes for which thou hast ordained it. And grant, we beseech thee, that now at this time out of it we may learn thy holy will; and then labour to frame our lives thereafter, as may be most to thy glory…for Jesus Christ his sake, thine only Son, and our blessed Saviour. Amen.

Richard Sibbes (1577–1635). An English Puritan theologian, Sibbes was known in London in the early 17th century as "the Heavenly Doctor Sibbes." Preacher at Gray's Inn, London and Master of Catherine Hall, Cambridge, his most famous work is The Bruised Reed and Smoking Flax.

From “The Author's Prayer Before his Sermon” in The Complete Works of Richard Sibbes, Volume 7 (Edinburgh: James Nichol, 1864), 337.