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New City Catechism - Question 38
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Posted by Taryl Jasper, Cornerstone Elder


New City Catechism - Question 38


Q38: What is prayer?


A: Prayer is pouring out our hearts to God in praise, petition, confession of sin, and thanksgiving.

KIDS’ ANSWER: Prayer is pouring out our hearts to God.



Ephesians 6:18

Praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end, keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints,



Acts 1:14; 1 Timothy 2:1; Daniel 9:20; Hebrews 5:7; 1 Thessalonians 5:17; Psalm 6:9



In the wake of recent national atrocities, such as the Texas church shooting, we have seen the social media world mock and ridicule the Christian response of prayer. The world derides prayer as worthless and ineffectual because it misunderstands the purpose of prayer and it doesn't believe in the power of the one who receives our prayers. The world may be confused about the nature and purpose of prayer, but the believer should hold firm to and be motivated to pray by a sound and biblical understanding of prayer.


Prayer is not simply contemplative thoughts or meditation or emptying of the mind. Christian prayer is a direct address of the human soul to the Creator and sovereign Lord of the universe who has promised to hear and answer his children (Psalm 65:2; Isaiah 58:9). When we pray, we are acknowledging our dependence upon God. We confess our sins in prayer because we are dependent upon his grace and forgiveness (Proverbs 28:13). In prayer, we offer praise and thanksgiving to God because of his righteousness, faithfulness, mercy, graciousness, and power (Hebrews 13:15). We go to God with prayers of petition and in doing so, we are confirming our utter reliance upon Him. Scripture says to "pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us" (Psalm 62:8).


God delights in the prayers of His children (Proverbs 15:8) in the same way that we love the dialogue we have with our own children. Fellowship with God is the foundation of prayer and prayer is the breath of the Christian life.  Just as our life is dependent on continually filling of our lungs with the life-giving air, prayer is a dependency on the life-giving character of God. While the world mocks prayer as ineffectual, we know it is communication with the only source of comfort and grace and power in the universe and therefore we cannot help but pray.



We believe that Jesus Christ is true God and true Man, having been conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary.  He who knew no sin died on the cross a sacrifice for our sins according to the Scriptures.  Further, He arose bodily from the dead, ascended into Heaven, where at the right hand of the Majesty on High, He now is our High Priest and Advocate.  (Is. 7:14Mt. 1:18-25;  Lk. 1:26-36;  Col. 2:9;  1 Jn. 5:20;  Mk. 10:45;  Heb. 2:9;  Lk. 24:23-40;  1 Cor. 15;  Acts 1:1-111 Pet. 3:221 Jn. 2:2Heb. 4:167:25)




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