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may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask any thing. in my name I will do it.
Q. 8. What is it to pray unto God in the name of Christ?
A. To pray unto God in the name of Christ, is not barely to mention the name of Christ with our lips in the conclusion, or any part of our prayers ; but it is by faith to mention his name, depending upon Christ alone for admittance and access unto God in prayer, for acceptance, audience, and a gracious return unto our prayers. Eph. iii. 12, In whom we have boldness and access with confi. dence by the faith of him.
Q. 9. Why must we pray unto God in the name of Christ?
A. We must pray unto God in the name of Christ, because God, being so infinitelyiholy and jealous, so infi. nitely just and righteous, and we being so unholy and sinful, and our prayers at best so imperfect, and so mingled with defilement, that neither our persons would find acceptance, nor our prayers any audience with God, without the name and inediation of Christ, and the mixture of the sweet incense of his merits, with our prayers to take away the ill savour of them, and the using of his interest with the Father, upon his account alone, to give an answer unto them. Rev. viii. 3, 4, And another angel came and stood at the altar, [that is, the Lord Jesus Christ, who is the angel of the covenant] having a golden censer; and there was given unto him much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all saints upon the golden altar, which was before the throne. And the smoke of the incense, which came with the prayers of the saints, ascended up before God, out of the angel's hand.
Q. 10. May we not make use of the name of angels, and the Virgin Mary, and other saints in prayer, directing our prayers unto them to help us, at least to improve their interest in heaven for us, as the Papists do teach and practise ?
A. 1. It is idolatry to direct our prayers unto any creature, God being the alone object of this and all other
t'eligious worship; therefore we ought not to direct our prayers unto angels, (who have refused worship) much less unto any saints. Col. ii. 18, Let no man beguile you of your reward, in a voluntary humility, and worshipping of angels. Rev. xix. 10, And I fell at his feet to wor'ship him; and he said unto me, See thou do it not; I am thy fellow-servant, &c. 2. There is but one Mediator and Intercessor in heaven for us, namely, the Lord Jesus Christ, and it is an affront to him to make use of any angels or saints as our intercessors, 1 Tim. 11. 5, There is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus. 1 John ji. 1, If any man sin, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. 3. We have neither precept nor example in scripture for, nor any promise unto any prayers which we shall make either unto, or by either angels or saints. 4. The chiefest saints in heaven are ignorant of our condition on earth, neither can they, where they are, hear, much less give answer unto our prayers, and therefore are unfit to be the object of our prayers, or to make pará ticular intercession for us. Isa. Ixiii. 16, Doubtless thou art our Father, though Abraham be ignorant of us, and Israel acknowledge us not. Therefore the doctrine and practice of the Papists herein, is both unallowable and abominable,
Q. 11. How must, we pray unto God that our prayers may be acceptable unto him, and answered by him?
A. That our prayers may be acceptable unto God, and answered by him, we must pray, 1. With sincerity. Heb. x. 22, Let us draw near with a true heart. 2. With humility. Psal. x. 17, Lord, thou hast heard the desire of of the humble. 3. With faith, James i. 6, Let him ask in faith. 4. With fervency. James v. 16, The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. 5. With perseverance. Luke xviii. 1, Men ought always to pray, and not to faint. 6. We must look after our prayers, and wait for a return. Micah vii. 7. Therefore I will look unto the Lord; I will wait for the God of my salvation : my God will hear me.
Q. 12. Can we ourselves pray thus acceptably unto God?
A. We cannot of ourselves pray thus acceptably.unto God, without the Spirit of God to help our infirmities, and to teach us both for what and how to pray. Rom. viii. 26, 27, Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmi. ties; for we know not what we should pray for as we ought; but the Spirit maketh intercession for us with · groanings that cannot be uttered. And he, that search
eth the hearts, knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God. _Q. 13. Doth God accept and answer all the prayers that are offered unto him? · A. 1. God doth not accept and answer the prayers of the wicked. Prov. xv. 8, The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the Lord; but the prayer of the upright is his delight. - 2, God doth not accept the prayer's of his own people, when they regard iniquity in their hearts. Psal. Ixvi. 18, If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me. 3. God doth accept the prayers of his people, which are offered up unto him in the name of Christ, and by the help of the Spirit, and which are for things agreeable unto his will; so that he either giveth the thing into them which they pray for, or else something that is equivalent or better for them.
Q. 14. What is the second part of prayer? . .
A. The second part of prayer is confession of our sins, with which our petitions for pardon, and supply of our wants, should be introduced.
Q. 15. What sins should we make confession of in prayer?
A. In praver, we should make confession of our ori. ginal and actual sins against law and gospel; of omis. sion and commission, in thought and heart, of lip and life, with aggravations of thcm ; acknowledging withal, our desert of temporal, spiritual, and eternal judgments and punishments for them. Psal. xxxii. 5, I acknowledged my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I. nut bid. Psal. li. 4, 5, Against thee, thee only have I sin, ped, and done this evil in thy sight. Behold, I was sia pen in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me,
Dan. ix. 8, O Lord, to us belongeth confusion of face, because we have sinned against thee,
Q. 16. How ought we in prayer to confess our sins ?
A. We ought in prayer to confess our sins humbly, fully, freely, with grief for them, and hatred of them, with full purpose and full resolution, in the strength of the Lord, not to return again to the practice of them.
Q. 17. What is the third part of prayer ?
A. The third part of prayer, is thankful acknowledge ment of God's mercies, temporal and spiritual, here, and the promises of life and happiness in the other world ; wbich we ought to acknowledge with admiration, faith, love, joy, and all kind of suitable affections. Philip.iv. 6, By prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known unto God.
Q. 99. What rule hath God given us for our direction in prayer ?
A. The whole word of God is of use to direct us in prayer; but the special rule of direction is that form of prayer which Christ taught his disciples, commonly called the Lord's prayer.
Q. 1. What is generally useful for our direction in prayer?
A. The whole word of God is generally useful for vur direction, as it containeth plenty of matter for pray, er, guideth us to the manner of it, and aboundeth with variety of expressions which most fitly may be used in it. ; Q. 2. What is the special rule for our direction in prayer?
A. The special rule for our direction in prayer, is that form of prayer which Christ taught his disciples, commonly called the Lord's prayer. Matth. vi. 9, After this manner therefore prayer ye, Our Father which art in heaven, hallowed be thy name, &c.
Q. 3. How many parts are there in the Lord's prayer ?
A. There are three parts in the Lord's prayer, the preface, the petitions, and the conclusion ?
Q. 100. What doth the preface of the Lord's prayer teach us ?
A. The preface of the Lord's prayer, which is, Our Hather which art in heaven, teacheth us to draw near to God with all holy reverence and confidence, as children to a father, able and ready to help us; and that we should pray with and for others.
Q. 1. What is the preface of the Lord's prayer itself?
A. The preface of the Lord's prayer itself, is in these words, Our Father which art in heaven.
Q. 2. What do the words, our Faiher, in the preface teach us?
A. The words, our Father, in the preface teach us, 1. To draw near unto God with confidence, both of his allsufficiency, and his readiness to help us ; as also with a filial affection of desire, love, and delight, as children to a Father. Rom. viii. 15, For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. Eph. iii. 20, Him that is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think. Matth. vii. 11, If ye then being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your chil. dren; how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him? 2. To pray to God with and for others, he being a common Father unto all his people. Eph. vi. 18, Praying always with all prayer and supplication for all saints.
Q. 3. Are we to pray unto God only for the saints, and such as are his children?
A. We must pray unto God, not only only for the saints and his children, but also for all men : we must pray, not only for the church in general, but also for the nation, wherein we lire ; for magistrates and for ministers; and not only for our friends, but also for our enemies. Psal. cxxii. 6, Pray for the peace of Jerusalem. I Tim. ii. 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. Matth. v. 44, Love your enemies, and pray for them that despitefully use you, and persccute you.