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What shall I pray?

Matthew 6:9-13

Pray then like this:

“Our Father in heaven,

hallowed be your name.

Your kingdom come,

your will be done,

on earth as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread,

and forgive us our debts,

as we also have forgiven our debtors.

And lead us not into temptation,

but deliver us from evil.”

As I lie dying of ALS, unable to move much at all, (except to just barely use the mouse to write or use my speech machine), I have found once again great comfort in the use of the Lord’s Prayer. Praying the prayer as my prayer, then using the petitions one by one as categories to remind me what to pray, and to organize the rest of the ongoing prayer. The exposition of the Shorter Catechism kept in mind is a valuable aid in this process. It is notable that the Catechism takes pains to explain each part of the Lord’s Prayer as the Lord’s model for the third of the three means of grace mentioned, the Word of God, the sacraments, and then prayer.

No benefit or blessing in our salvation is received apart from prayer. This is fundamental Reformed teaching. Prayer: ours, theirs, or others, is the means by which we receive all the benefits purchased for us by our Savior, Jesus. We go to our Father to receive all that he has for us and for our salvation from his good and all gracious loving hand. He always answers. He always answers better than we ask.

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