Lord’s Day Schedule‚Ä°

  • Sabbath School—9:45 a.m.
  • Morning Worship—10:45 a.m.
  • Afternoon Worship—2:00 p.m.
  • ‡ Regular schedule temporarily suspended.

Notes from Sabbath School: WLC #188 & #189

Notes from Sabbath School on the Larger Catechsim, WLC #188 — Of how many parts doth the Lord’s Prayer consist? and WLC #189 — What doth the preface of the Lord’s Prayer teach us?
WLC #188 — Q. Of how many parts doth the Lord’s Prayer consist?
A: The Lord’s Prayer consists of three parts; a preface, petitions, and a conclusion.
  1. The following questions and answers of the Larger Catechism expound a summary of what we are to believe and do in relation to prayer as we are taught these things from these three parts of which the Lord’s Prayer consists.
    • Preface
      • WLC 189
    • Petitions
      • WLC 190 – 195
    • Conclusion
      • WLC 196
  2. These three parts teach us:
    • That we should begin our prayers with acknowledgment of the infinite majesty and greatness of God.
    • That our requests should ordinarily be properly arranged.
    • That our prayers should have an appropriate conclusion.
WLC #189 — Q. What doth the preface of the Lord’s Prayer teach us?
A: The preface of the Lord’s Prayer (contained in these words, Our Father which art in heaven,1) teacheth us, when we pray, to draw near to God with confidence of his fatherly goodness, and our interest therein;2 with reverence, and all other childlike dispositions,3 heavenly affections,4 and due apprehensions of his sovereign power, majesty, and gracious condescension:5 as also, to pray with and for others.6
  1. Two major lessons of the preface
    • That God is the Father of His people.
    • That God and His people are not equals.
  2. Only the Church may call God Father after a religious manner.
    • While it is true that God is naturally speaking the Father of mankind (Acts 17:28-29) insofar as He is the Creator of mankind.
    • However, the Lord’s Prayer is not speaking of a natural relationship, but a special and religious one, a sense in which Christ says some are not the children of God. (See John 8:42-44; 1 John 3:10; 5:18-19.)
  3. God’s people are to pray with confidence.
    • Confidence in God’s fatherly goodness toward us.
    • Confidence in our interest (i.e., share) in God’s fatherly goodness.
  4. God’s people are to pray with reverence.
    • Our familial relationship with God gives no warrant for flippant or irreverent prayer.
    • “The Fatherhood and love of God make a poor excuse for irreverence in prayer.” (Vos, 545)
  5. We are to pray with “heavenly affections.”
    • Affections that are heavenward, that is, affections and desires that are set upon God and all that which is most closely associated with Him.
  6. Due apprehensions of his sovereign power, majesty, and gracious condescension.
    • Due apprehensions: appropriately recognising and feeling the truth so as to act accordingly.
    • Sovereign power: God’s supreme authority and absolute ability and purpose to do all His holy will.
    • Majesty: God’s splendid greatness above all created things.
    • Gracious condescension: God’s voluntary and saving disposition toward His people through Jesus Christ through whom our prayers may be heard.
  7. Our Father.
    • We are to pray with and for each other.
    • Prayer is not to be viewed as primarily an individualistic matter. In prayer we must pray not only for our own needs and concerns but also for the whole Church of Christ, whether near as in our immediate church family, or far as in the Church throughout the world.

  1. Matt. 6:9. Cf. Luke 11:2. … Our Father which art in heaven … 

  2. Ps. 103:13. Like as a father pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth them that fear him. Luke 11:13. 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? Rom. 8:15. For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but yea have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. 

  3. Isa. 64:9. Be not wroth very sore, O Lord, neither remember iniquity for ever: behold, see, we beseech thee, we are all thy people. 

  4. Col. 3:1-2. If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. Ps. 123:1. Unto thee lift I up mine eyes, O thou that dwellest in the heavens. Lam. 3:41. Let us lift up our heart with our hands unto God in the heavens. 

  5. Isa. 63:15-16. Look down from heaven, and behold from the habitation of thy holiness and of thy glory: where is thy zeal and thy strength, the sounding of thy bowels and of thy mercies toward me? are they restrained? Doubtless thou art our father, though Abraham be ignorant of us, and Israel acknowledge us not: thou, O Lord, art our father, our redeemer; thy name is from everlasting. Neh. 1:4-6. And it came to pass, when I heard these words, that I sat down and wept, and mourned certain days, and fasted, and prayed before the God of heaven, and said, I beseech thee, O Lord God of heaven, the great and terrible God, that keepeth covenant and mercy for them that love him and observe his commandments: let thine ear now be attentive, and thine eyes open, that thou mayest hear the prayer of thy servant, which I pray before thee now, day and night, for the children of Israel thy servants, and confess the sins of the children of Israel, which we have sinned against thee: both I and my father’s house have sinned. See Ps. 113:4-6. 

  6. Acts 12:5. Peter therefore was kept in prison: but prayer was made without ceasing of the church unto God for him. 1 Tim. 2:1-2. I exhort therefore, that, first of all supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; for kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. Eph. 6:18. … praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints. 

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