Articles

THE LORD'S PRAYER Matthew 6:9-13 (continued)


What do we Pray for in the Third Petition?

In the Third Petition, (which is, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven,) we acknowledge, that by nature we and all men are utterly unable and unwilling to know and do the will of God: "For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not." (Romans 7:18) - "They say unto God, Depart from us; for we desire not the knowledge of thy ways." (Job 21:14) - "But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him; neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned." (1 Corinthians 2:14)
We are prone to rebel against His Word: "The carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be." (Romans 8:7)
We are prone to be discontent and murmur against His providence: "He called the name of the place Massah, and Meribah, because of the chiding of the children of Israel, and because they tempted the Lord, saying, Is the Lord among us, or not?" (Exodus 17:7) - "All the children of Israel murmured against Moses and against Aaron; and the whole congregation said unto them, Would God that we had died in the land of Egypt! or, would God we had died in this wilderness!" (Numbers 14:2)
We tend to do the will of the flesh and the devil: "In time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience." (Eph.2:2)
We pray, that God would by His Spirit take away from ourselves and others all blindness: "That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him: The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints." (Ephesians 1:17-18)
... that He would take away all weakness: "That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man." (Ephesians 3:16)
... all indisposedness: "He cometh unto the disciples, and findeth them asleep, and saith unto Peter, What! could ye not watch with me one hour? Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak." (Matthew 26:40-41)
... all perverseness of heart: "I have surely heard Ephraim bemoaning himself thus; Thou hast chastised me, and I was chastised, as a bullock unaccustomed to the yoke: turn thou me, and I shall be turned; for thou art the Lord my God. Surely after that I was turned, I repented; and after that I was instructed, I smote upon my thigh; I was ashamed, yea, even confounded, because I did bear the reproach of my youth." (Jeremiah 31:18-19)
By His grace He makes us able and willing to know, do and submit to His will in all things: "Blessed are the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the Lord... I will keep thy statutes: o forsake me not utterly... Make me to go in the path of thy comandments... Incline my heart unto thy testimonies, and not to covetousness." (Ps. 119)
... with the same humility... "He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?" (Micah 6:8)
... as the angels in heaven: "Above it stood the seraphims: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly. And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory." (Isaiah 6:2-3) - Bless the Lord, ye his angels, that excel in strength, that do his commandments, hearkening unto the voice of his word. Bless ye the Lord, all ye his hosts; ye ministers of his, that do his pleasure." (Ps. 103:20-21) - "Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones: for I say unto you, That in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven." (Matt. 18:10)
... with the same cheerfulness: "Serve the Lord with gladness; come before his presence with singing." (Psalm 100:2) - "Naked came I out of my mother's womb, and naked shall I return thither: the Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord." (Job 1:21) - "And the king said unto Zadok, Carry back the ark of God into the city: if I shall find favour in the eyes of the Lord, he will bring me again, and shew me both it and his habitation. But if he thus say, I have no delight in thee; behold, here am I, let him do to me as seemeth good unto him." (2 Samuel 15: 25-26)
... with the same faithfulness: "Remember now, O Lord, I beseech thee, how I have walked before thee in truth, and with a perfect heart, and have done that which is good in thy sight: and Hezekiah wept sore." (Isaiah 38:3)
... with the same diligence: "Thou hast commanded us to keep thy precepts diligently. O that my ways were directed to keep thy statutes!" (Psalm 119:4-5)
... with the same zeal: "Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord." (Romans 12:11)
... with the same sincerity: "Let my heart be sound in thy statutes, that I be not ashamed." (Psalm 119:80)
... with the same constancy: "I have inclined mine heart to perform thy statutes alway, even unto the end." (Psalm 119:112)



What do we Pray for in the Fourth Petition?

In the Fourth Petition, (which is, Give us this day our daily bread,) we acknowledge, that in Adam, and by our own sin, we have forfeited our right to all the outward blessings of this life, and deserve to be wholly deprived of them by God, and to have them cursed to us in the use of them: "But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die." (Genesis 2:17) - "And unto Adam he said, because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life." (Genesis 3:17) - "For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope; because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now." (Romans 8:20-22) - "Your iniquities have turned away these things, and your sins have withholden good things from you." (Jeremiah 5:25) - "But it shall come to pass, if thou wilt not hearken unto the voice of the Lord thy God, to observe to do all his commandments and his statutes, which I command thee this day, that all these curses shall come upon thee, and overtake thee. Cursed shalt thou be in the city, and cursed shalt thou be in the field. Cursed shall be thy basket and thy store, etc." (Deuteronomy 28:15 ff)
All the outward blessings of this life are not of themselves able to sustain us: "He humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knewest not... that he might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the Lord..." (Deuteronomy 8:3)
... nor do we merit them: "I am not worthy of the least of all the mercies, and of all the truth, which thou hast shewed unto thy servant, etc..." (Genesis 32:10)
... nor can we by our own industry procure them: "And thou say in thine heart, My power, and the might of mine hand, hath gotten me this wealth. But thou shalt remember the Lord thy God: for it is he that giveth thee power to get wealth, that he may establish his covenant which he sware unto thy fathers, as it is this day." (Deuteronomy 8:17-18)
We are prone to desire outward blessings unlawfully: "From the least of them even unto the greatest of them, every one is given to covetousness; and from the prophet even unto the priest, every one dealeth falsely." (Jeremiah 6:13) - "For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, etc." (Mark 7:21-22)
... get them unlawfully: "He is a merchant, the balances of deceit are in his hand: he loveth to oppress." (Hos. 12:7)
... use them unlawfully: "Ye... receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts." Jas. 4:3
We pray for ourselves and others that, waiting on the providence of God from day to day and using lawful means, we may, of his free gift, and according to his fatherly wisdom, enjoy a good portion of them: "And take double money in your hand: and the money that was brought again in the mouth of your sacks, carry it again in your hand; peradventure it was an oversight. Take also your brother, and arise, go again unto the man: and God Almighty give you mercy before the man." (Genesis 43:12-14) - "And Jacob vowed... If God will be with me, and will keep me in this way that I go, and will give me bread to eat, and raiment to put on..." (Genesis 28:20) - "Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth." (Ephesians 4:28) - "For we hear that there are some which walk among you dis-orderly, working not at all, but are busybodies. Now them that are such we command and exhort by our Lord Jesus Christ that with quietness they work, and eat their own bread." (2 Thessalonians 3:11-12) - "Be careful for nothing: but in every thing by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known unto God." (Philippians 4:6)
We pray that we may continue to receive outward blessings and use them in a holy and good way: "Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth. For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving: for it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer." (1 Timothy 4:3-5)
... and that we may be blessed with contentment: "Godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and... can carry nothing out. Having food and raiment, let us be therewith content." 1Tim.6:6
... and be kept from all things that are contrary to our well-being: "Remove far from me vanity and lies; give me neither poverty or riches; feed me with food convenient for me: lest I be full, and deny thee, and say, Who is the Lord? or lest I be poor, and steal, and take the name of my God in vain." (Proverbs 30:8-9)


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From the Westminster Larger Catechism


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