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11 Questions about Prayer

1. Are there different ways to pray?

Yes. Prayer can be private or public, liturgical or extemporaneous, spoken or silent. (1 Samuel 1:1–20; 1 Kings 8:22–61; Psalm 142; Matthew 11:25–28; Mark 1:35–39; Luke 6:12–16; Hebrews 5:7–10)

2. What types of prayer are in the Lord’s Prayer?

The Lord’s Prayer includes praise, petition, intercession, and confession to God. (Matthew 6:9–13; Luke 11:2–4).

3. What is praise?

In praise, I glorify and adore God for his holiness, his sovereign rule over all, and his salvation given in Jesus Christ. (Exodus 15:1– 21; Psalm 111; Luke 1:39–56; Ephesians 1:3–14)

To Be a Christian

J. I. Packer, Joel Scandrett, Anglican Church in North America

With 360+ pairs of questions and answers, as well as Scripture references to support each teaching, this catechism instructs new believers and church members in the core beliefs of Christianity from an Anglican perspective.

4. What is petition?

In petition, I make requests to God on my own behalf for his provision and protection. (1 Samuel 1; 2 Kings 20:1–7; Psalm 86; John 17:1–5; 2 Corinthians 12:1–10; Philippians 4:6–7)

5. What is intercession?

In intercession, I make requests to God on behalf of others, the Church, and the world. (Exodus 32:1–14; Psalm 20; John 17:6–26; Ephesians 3:14–21; 6:18–20)

6. What is confession?

In confession, I acknowledge my sins in repentance before God and receive his forgiveness. (Nehemiah 1:4–11; Psalm 51; Jeremiah 36:1–3; Luke 23:39–43; Acts 2:14–41; 2 Corinthians 7:2–12; 1 John 1:9)

I should pray with humility, love, and a ready openness to hear and do God’s will.

7. What types of prayer are not included in the Lord’s Prayer?

Other types of prayer are thanksgiving, by which I give thanks to God for his providential goodness and answers to my prayers; and oblation, by which I offer to him all that I am and all that I do. (2 Samuel 22; Psalm 63; Luke 1:38; 22:39–44; Romans 12:1; Hebrews 10:1–25; 13:15–16)

8. With what attitude should you pray?

I should pray with humility, love, and a ready openness to hear and do God’s will. (2 Chronicles 7:13–15; Psalms 31; 46:10–11; Luke 18:9–14; Philippians 4:4–7)

9. What prayers should you learn as a part of your rule of prayer?

After learning the Lord’s Prayer, I should next aim to learn certain psalms (such as Psalm 23, Psalm 51, Psalm 95, Psalm 100, Psalm 150) and prayers from the Daily Office. These prayers will ground me in the Christian tradition of prayer and teach me how to pray in my own words.

10. What should you remember when prayers seem to go unanswered?

I should be certain that God always hears my prayers and answers them by his wisdom, in his own time and manner, for my good, and for his glory. (Psalm 37:3–9; Isaiah 55; Habakkuk 3:17–19; Luke 18:1–8; James 4:2–3; 1 John 5:14–15)

11. How should you pray in times of suffering?

I should pray trusting in the sufficiency of God’s grace and in joyful assurance that “suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame.” (Romans 5:3–5; see also Job 23; Psalm 22; John 12:23–26; 2 Corinthians 1:3–5; 1 Peter 4:12–19)

This article is adapted from To Be a Christian: An Anglican Catechism edited by J. I Packer and Joel Scandrett.

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