Monday, June 10, 2013

Heidelberg on the Lord's prayer

The Heidelberg Catechism (1563) on the Lord’s Prayer petitions...

120. Why did Christ command us to address God thus: “Our Father?”
To awaken in us at the very beginning of our prayer that childlike reverence for and trust in God, which are to be the ground of our prayer, namely, that God has become our Father through Christ, and will much less deny us what we ask of Him in faith than our parents refuse us earthly things.[1]
[1]Mt. 7:9-11; Lk. 11:11-13; *I Pet. 1:17; *Isa. 63:16.

121. Why is it added: “Who art in heaven?”
That we might have no earthly thought of the heavenly majesty of God,[1] and from His almighty power expect all things necessary for body and soul.[2]
[1]Jer. 23:23-24; Acts 17:24-25, 27. [2]Rom. 10:12; *I Kgs. 8:28; *Ps. 115:3.

122. What is the first petition?
“Hallowed be Thy name;” that is, grant us, first, rightly to know Thee, [1] and to hallow, magnify, and praise Thee in all Thy works, in which Thy power, goodness, justice, mercy, and truth shine forth;[2] and further, that we so order our whole life, our thoughts, words, and deeds, that Thy name may not be blasphemed, but honored and praised on our account.[3]
[1]Jn. 17:3; Mt. 16:17; Jas. 1:5; Ps. 119:105. [2] Ps. 119:137; Rom. 11:33-36. [3]Ps. 71:8; *Ps. 100:3-4; *Ps. 92:1-2; *Eph. 1:16-17; *Ps. 71:16.

123. What is the second petition?
“Thy kingdom come;” that is, so govern us by Thy Word and Spirit, that we submit ourselves to Thee always more and more;[1] preserve and increase Thy Church;[2] destroy the works of the devil, every power that exalts itself against Thee, and all wicked devices formed against Thy Holy Word,[3] until the fullness of Thy kingdom come,[4] wherein Thou shalt be all in all.[5]
[1]Ps. 119:5; 143:10. [2]Ps. 51:18; 122:6-7. [3]I Jn. 3:8; Rom. 16:20. [4]Rev. 22:17, 20; Rom. 8:22-23. [5]I Cor. 15:28; *Ps. 102:12-13; *Heb. 12:28; *Rev. 11:15; *I Cor. 15:24.

124. What is the third petition?
“Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven;” that is, grant that we and all men renounce our own will,[1] and without gainsaying obey Thy will, which alone is good;[2] so that every one may fulfill his office and calling as willingly and faithfully [3] as the angels do in heaven.[4]
[1]Mt. 16:24. [2]Lk. 22:42; Tit. 2:12. [3]I Cor. 7:24. [4]Ps. 103:20-21; *Rom. 12:2; *Heb. 13:21.

125. What is the fourth petition?
“Give us this day our daily bread;” that is, be pleased to provide for all our bodily need,[1] so that we may thereby acknowledge that Thou art the only fountain of all good,[2] and that without Thy blessing neither our care and labor, nor Thy gifts, can profit us;[3] that we may therefore withdraw our trust from all creatures and place it alone in Thee.[4]
[1]Ps. 104:27-28; 145:15-16; Mt. 6:25-26. [2]Acts 14:17; 17:27-28. [3]I Cor. 15:58; Deut. 8:3; Ps. 37:3-7, 16-17. [4]Ps. 55:22; 62:10; *Ps. 127:1-2; *Jer. 17:5, 7; *Ps. 146:2-3.

126. What is the fifth petition?
“And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors;” that is, be pleased, for the sake of Christ's blood, not to impute to us miserable sinners our manifold transgressions, nor the evil which always cleaves to us;[1] as we also find this witness of Thy grace in us, that it is our full purpose heartily to forgive our neighbor.[2]
[1]Ps. 51:1-4; 143:2; I Jn. 2:1-2. [2]Mt. 6:14-15; Ps. 51:5-7; *Eph. 1:7.

127. What is the sixth petition?
“And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil;” that is, since we are so weak in ourselves that we cannot stand a moment,[1] and besides, our deadly enemies, the devil,[2] the world,[3] and our own flesh,[4] assail us without ceasing, be pleased to preserve and strengthen us by the power of Thy Holy Spirit, that we may make firm stand against them and not be overcome in this spiritual warfare,[5] until finally complete victory is ours.[6]
[1]Jn. 15:5; Ps. 103:14-16. [2]I Pet. 5:8-9; Eph. 6:12-13. [3]Jn. 15:19. [4]Rom. 7:23; Gal. 5:17. [5]Mt. 26:41; Mk. 13:33. [6]I Thess. 3:13; 5:23-24; *II Cor. 12:7.

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