THE

SHORTER CATECHISM

EXPLAINED


QUESTION 107. What doth the conclusion of the Lord's Prayer teach us?

ANSWER: The conclusion of the Lord's Prayer, which is, "For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever, Amen," teacheth us to take our encouragement in prayer from God only, and in our prayers to praise him, ascribing kingdom, power, and glory to him. And, in testimony of our desire and assurance to be heard, we say, AMEN.


Q. 1. What does the particle for, which ushers in the conclusion of the Lord's prayer, teach us?

A. It "teacheth us to enforce our petitions with arguments, Rom. 15:30."[201]

Q. 2. From Whence are these arguments to be taken?

A. "Not from any worthiness in ourselves, or in any other creature, but from God, Dan. 9:19."[202]

Q. 3. What argument, for instance, may we fetch from God, to enforce our petitions?

A. That "mercy and truth have met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other," Psalm 85:10.

Q. 4. What force is there in this argument?

A. A very great force, namely, that all the perfections and excellencies of the divine nature, harmoniously agree in conferring all promised blessings upon sinners of mankind, on account of the meritorious obedience, and satisfaction of Christ imputed to them, 1 Cor. 3:22, 23 -- "All things are yours, and ye are Christ's."

Q. 5. For what end should we use arguments with God in prayer?

A. Not to prevail with him to grant what he does not see fit for us; but to quicken our own faith, and encourage our hope, to expect the good things of the promise which we want, in his own time and way, Dan. 9:18.

Q. 6. Why should we essay in our prayers to praise him?

A. Because "praise glorifies God," Psalm 50:23, and engages him to hear our prayers, Psalm 67:5, 6.

Q. 7. What way should we praise him in our prayers?

A. By ascribing kingdom, power, and glory to him.

Q. 8. What is meant by kingdom, power, and glory?

A. "Eternal sovereignty, omnipotency, and glorious excellency," as appertaining "to God alone," 1 Chron. 29:10-14.[203]

Q. 9. What kingdom do we ascribe to God as his?

A. The kingdom of nature, as God Creator; and the kingdom of grace, as God Redeemer.

Q. 10. What encouragement may we take in prayer, from the kingdoms both of nature and grace being his?

A. That we shall want nothing that is good for us, either as we are his creatures, Psalm 145:16, or his children, Matt. 7:11.

Q. 11. Why do we ascribe power to God, as well as kingdom?

A. Because, without power, his sovereignty could not be maintained, or his kingdom managed, Psalm 66:3, 7.

Q. 12. What encouragement may we take in prayer, from the power being his?

A. That no difficulty whatever shall hinder the accomplishment of the promise, Rom. 4:21.

Q. 13. What do we mean by ascribing glory to him?

A. We thus acknowledge, that he is possessed of all those excellencies, which render him glorious in the eyes of men and angels; and that the praise and honour of every thing that is great and excellent, or has a tendency to raise our esteem and admiration, is due to him; Psalm 78:4.

Q. 14. What encouragement may we take in prayer, from the glory being his?

A. That the accomplishment of his glorious purposes, and performance of his gracious promises, will bring in a revenue of glory and praise to him, Psalm 45:17.

Q. 15. How long will the kingdom, power, and glory be his?

A. For ever, without intermission through eternity. Ex. 15:18.

Q. 16. What is the difference, in this respect, between God and all earthly kings and potentates whatsoever?

A. Their kingdom, power, and glory, are only of a short duration, Psalm 82:6, 7; whereas the God with whom we have to do changes not, but is ever the same, James 1:17.

Q. 17. Why do we say Amen in our prayers?

A. We should do it in testimony of our desire, and assurance to be heard.

Q. 18. How may we know we say Amen in testimony of our desire?

A. When "by faith we are imboldened to plead with God, that he would -- fulfil our requests, 2 Chron. 20:6, 11."[204]

Q. 19. What does the word signify, when we say it in testimony of our desire?

A. In this view it properly signifies, so be it, or so let it be.

Q. 20. When do we say Amen in testimony of our assurance to be heard?

A. When "by faith we are imboldened -- quietly to rely upon him that he will fulfil our requests, 2 Chron. 14:11."[205]

Q. 21. What does the word signify, when we say it in testimony of our assurance to be heard?

A. In this sense it denotes, so it is; or, so it shall be.

Q. 22. In which of these views is the word, Amen, to be understood in the conclusion of this prayer?

A. It is to be understood as signifying both; namely, as including a testimony of our desire, and likewise an assurance of being heard.

Q. 23. How does this appear?

A. Because there cannot be a desire of any promised blessing in faith, but there must be some measure of assurance that it will be granted in God's time and order, Psalm 10:17.

THE END.


[201] Ibid., Question 196.

[202] Ibid.

[203] Larger Catechism, Question 196.

[204] Larger Catechism, Question 196.

[205] Ibid.


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