Back to the basics: The Lord’s Prayer

September 3-9: Overview and the address of the Lord’s Prayer

Address: Our Father in heaven.

239. What is prayer?

Psalm 19:14 May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer.

Psalm 62:8 Trust in him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge.

Psalm 73:25,26 Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.

Psalm 9:10 Those who know your name trust in you, for you, LORD, have never forsaken those who seek you.

Psalm 28:7 The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me.

Psalm 121:2 My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth.

Genesis 18:16-33 (Abraham spoke from his heart, pleading on behalf of Sodom.)

Philippians 4:6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.

Prayer is speaking to God from the heart as a natural response of faith and an expression of our trust in the power and love of God.

240. What has God revealed about himself that encourages us to come to him in prayer?

Genesis 17:1 When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the LORD appeared to him and said, “I am God Almighty; walk before me faithfully and be blameless.”

Deuteronomy 33:27 The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms.

Jeremiah 31:3 The LORD appeared to us in the past, saying: “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.”

Exodus 34:6,7 The LORD, the LORD, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin.

John 11:25,26 I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die.

Romans 8:34 Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us.

In his Word, God has revealed that he is the almighty, eternal God whose love for us will never end. He has demonstrated the depth of his love by redeeming us from the power of sin and death and by forgiving our sins.

242. To whom only do we pray?

Psalm 65:2 You who answer prayer, to you all people will come.

Isaiah 42:8 I am the LORD; that is my name! I will not yield my glory to another or my praise to idols.

1 John 5:20,21 We know also that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true. And we are in him who is true by being in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life. Dear children, keep yourselves from idols.

Jeremiah 10:10 The LORD is the true God; he is the living God, the eternal King.

Revelation 22:8,9 When I had heard and seen [these things], I fell down to worship at the feet of the angel who had been showing them to me. But he said to me, “Don’t do that! I am a fellow servant with you and with your fellow prophets and with all who keep the words of this scroll. Worship God!”

Acts 14:8-18 (After healing a man who was lame, Paul and Barnabas had to restrain the people from honoring them as gods.)


A closer look

Some people pray to individuals who have died—individuals like Mary, other saints, or even family members—believing that those who are dead can do something about the challenges the living face on earth. God has never told us that those who have died can hear anything spoken to them by the living. Instead, God commands and invites us to go directly to him for all of our needs. When we place our confidence in someone other than God, we sin against the First Commandment.


247. Why is it proper for us to call God our Father?

Malachi 2:10 Do we not all have one Father? Did not one God create us?

2 Corinthians 6:18 I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.

Galatians 4:4,5 When the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption to sonship.

Galatians 4:6 Because you are his sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba, Father.”

Psalm 103:13 As a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him.

We call God our Father because he created us and adopted us into his family through Christ’s redemption. Our heavenly Father loves us and cares deeply for us.

249. What makes our heavenly Father different from earthly fathers?

Genesis 17:1 I am God Almighty.

Deuteronomy 32:4 A faithful God who does no wrong, upright and just is he.

Psalm 27:10 Though my father and mother forsake me, the LORD will receive me.

Hebrews 12:10 They disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, in order that we may share in his holiness.

James 1:17 Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.

252. What are we confessing when we acknowledge that our Father is in heaven?

Ephesians 4:6 . . . one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.

Isaiah 6 (When he commissioned Isaiah as his prophet, God gave Isaiah a glimpse of heaven. Isaiah saw the Lord seated on his throne, in power and glory. Isaiah witnessed the honor and glory the angels were attributing to God.)

Psalm 115:3 Our God is in heaven; he does whatever pleases him.

Haggai 2:8 “The silver is mine and the gold is mine,” declares the LORD Almighty.

Psalm 124:8 Our help is in the name of the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth.

Psalm 139:7-10 Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.

Acts 17:24 The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by human hands.

Ephesians 3:20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us . . .

From heaven, God reigns over all things in glory. By addressing our Father in heaven, we are confessing his greatness, power, and glory. Because he possesses all things, we are acknowledging that he is the one who can answer our prayers.


September 10-16: The first, second, and third petitions

First petition: Hallowed be your name.

Second petition: Your kingdom come.

Third petition: Your will be done on earth as in heaven.

253. What is God’s name?

Genesis 17:1 I am God Almighty.

Isaiah 42:8 I am the LORD; that is my name! I will not yield my glory to another or my praise to idols.

Exodus 34:5-7 Then the LORD came down in the cloud and stood there with him and proclaimed his name, the LORD . . . “The LORD, the LORD, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin. Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished; he punishes the children and their children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation.”

John 17:6,8 I have revealed you to those whom you gave me out of the world. For I gave them the words you gave me.

2 Corinthians 13:14 May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.

Psalm 9:10 Those who know your name trust in you, for you, LORD, have never forsaken those who seek you.

God’s name is his titles and everything else he has revealed about himself in his Word.

255. God’s name is holy in and of itself. When we pray “hallowed be your name,” we aren’t saying that we can change or add to the essence of his name. We are asking, rather, that God work in us so that we treat his name as special, that is, keep it holy in our lives. In what ways do we keep God’s name holy in our lives?

Jeremiah 23:28 Let the prophet who has a dream recount the dream, but let the one who has my word speak it faithfully.

Deuteronomy 4:2 Do not add to what I command you and do not subtract from it, but keep the commands of the LORD your God that I give you.

1 Chronicles 16:8 Give praise to the LORD, proclaim his name; make known among the nations what he has done.

2 Samuel 22:50 I will praise you, LORD, among the nations; I will sing the praises of your name.

Psalm 9:11 Sing the praises of the LORD, enthroned in Zion; proclaim among the nations what he has done.

2 Timothy 4:1-5 (God urges us to be faithful in proclaiming his Word.)

We treat God’s name as special when we teach his Word faithfully.

Ezra 10:11 Now honor the LORD, the God of your ancestors, and do his will.

Ephesians 4:1 As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received.

Matthew 5:16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.

1 Corinthians 6:20 You were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.

1 Corinthians 10:31 Whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.

2 Corinthians 3:3 You show that you are a letter from Christ, the result of our ministry, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.

Galatians 5:22,23 The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.

Titus 2:14 [Jesus Christ] gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.

We treat God’s name as special when we honor him with our good works.

258. As children of God, why are we eager to honor God’s name?

Acts 4:12 Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.

Matthew 16:26 What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul?

Romans 10:13 Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.

Philippians 3:14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

Matthew 5:16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.

Matthew 18:6 If anyone causes one of these little ones—those who believe in me—to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.

259. What does God tell us about his kingdom?

Colossians 1:13,14 He has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

Colossians 3:15,16 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts. Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly.

Luke 17:20,21 Once, on being asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, Jesus replied, “The coming of the kingdom of God is not something that can be observed, nor will people say, ‘Here it is,’ or ‘There it is,’ because the kingdom of God is in your midst.”

God has given his name for our salvation. That truth is more important to us than anything else on earth. We will study and teach his Word faithfully so that God’s name will always be on us and so that others also come to his name. We will live our lives so that our actions don’t turn others away from God.

Romans 14:17 The kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.

John 3:5 Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit.”

John 18:36,37 Jesus said, “My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jewish leaders. But now my kingdom is from another place.” “You are a king, then!” said Pilate. Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. In fact, the reason I was born and came into the world is to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.”

The kingdom of God is Christ’s rule in our hearts through his Word.

260. How does God’s kingdom come to us?

Romans 14:9 Christ died and returned to life so that he might be the Lord of both the dead and the living.

Mark 1:15 “The time has come,” he said. “The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!”

1 Corinthians 12:3 I want you to know that no one who is speaking by the Spirit of God says, “Jesus be cursed,” and no one can say, “Jesus is Lord,” except by the Holy Spirit.

Romans 5:5 God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.

Romans 9:16 It does not, therefore, depend on human desire or effort, but on God’s mercy.

Romans 1:16 I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes.

Matthew 28:19,20 Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.

Titus 2:14 [Jesus Christ] gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.

God’s kingdom comes as the Holy Spirit works and strengthens faith in our hearts through the means of grace.

262. God’s kingdom already has a stronghold in Christian hearts. Why, then, do we continue to pray that God’s kingdom come?

1 Corinthians 10:12 If you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall!

2 Peter 3:17,18 Dear friends, since you have been forewarned, be on your guard so that you may not be carried away by the error of the law-less and fall from your secure position. But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen.

Mark 9:24 I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!

Ephesians 6:12 Our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.

1 Peter 5:8 Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.

Romans 7:21,23 I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. But I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me.

We pray for God’s kingdom to come because another kingdom—that of the devil, the world, and our sinful flesh—is trying to dislodge God’s throne from our hearts.

Matthew 28:19 Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.

John 10:16 I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd.

We pray for God’s kingdom to come to those who are not yet part of the kingdom through faith.

264. What is God’s will?

2 Timothy 4:2 Preach the word.

Mark 16:15 He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.”

Jeremiah 23:28 Let the prophet who has a dream recount the dream, but let the one who has my word speak it faithfully.

2 Timothy 4:1-5 (God urges us to be faithful in proclaiming his Word.)

God’s will is that we hallow his name by faithfully teaching and preaching his Word.

1 Timothy 2:3,4 This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.

John 6:40 My Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day.

John 20:31 These are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.

1 Timothy 4:16 Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers.

God’s will is that as we teach and preach his Word, his kingdom will come and more souls will be saved for eternal life.

2 Peter 3:18 Grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

1 Timothy 6:11,12 Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness. Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses.

1 Timothy 4:8 Physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.

1 Thessalonians 4:1,3 As for other matters, brothers and sisters, we instructed you how to live in order to please God, as in fact you are living. Now we ask you and urge you in the Lord Jesus to do this more and more. It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality.

Colossians 1:9,10 We have not stopped praying for you. We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will . . . so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God.

God’s will is that through his Word, we will grow in faith to serve him and one another more and more.

Luke 10:38-42 (Jesus commended Mary for choosing to listen to his Word, the one thing that is needed.)

Psalm 1:1-3 Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, but whose delight is in the law of the LORD, and who meditates on his law day and night. That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither—whatever they do prospers.

Psalm 119:37 Turn my eyes away from worthless things; preserve my life according to your word.

Psalm 122:1 I rejoiced with those who said to me, “Let us go to the house of the LORD.”

1 Timothy 6:20 Guard what has been entrusted to your care. Turn away from godless chatter and the opposing ideas of what is falsely called knowledge.

Matthew 13:44-46 (Jesus told two brief parables to emphasize that the kingdom of God is our greatest treasure.)

God’s will for us is that we recognize his Word and the kingdom that comes through his Word as our greatest treasures.

267. How is God’s will done for us as we experience the spiritual struggles of life on earth?

1 John 3:8 The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work.

John 16:33 I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.

Romans 6:6 We know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin.

God’s will is done when he defeats the evil plans of the devil, the world, and our sinful flesh.

2 Thessalonians 3:3 The Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen you and protect you from the evil one.

1 Corinthians 1:8 [Our Lord] will also keep you firm to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.

1 Peter 1:4,5 . . . an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time.

1 Corinthians 10:13 No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.

1 Peter 5:10 The God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.

Philippians 1:6 He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.


Connections

Satan and the world will always seek to oppose God’s will in the world. Christianity is openly ridiculed. Christians sometimes are openly persecuted and even killed. Sin is defended and promoted as if it were our right to do whatever we want. Christians can easily become discouraged. However, it is comforting to remember that when Jesus rose from the dead, he won the victory over Satan and the world. As long as the world exists, God’s will continues to be done. Read about the opposition Christianity faced shortly after Jesus ascended. The Christians in Jerusalem were persecuted to the point that they had to flee to other cities and countries. Discover how God used that seeming victory of Satan to bring about great victories for the faith.

Acts 6:8-15; 7:51–8:8; 11:19-21

What blessings did God bring even as enemies were working so hard to hurt the church? We may not immediately see the blessings God is bringing during hard times, but we know his good and gracious will is getting done. Think of yourself suffering persecution in some way today. What blessings can God bring to you through that kind of suffering?


September 17-23: The fourth, fifth, and sixth petitions

Fourth petition: Give us today our daily bread.

Fifth petition: Forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us.

Sixth petition: Lead us not into temptation.

268. What is meant by daily bread?

Psalm 37:25,26 I was young and now I am old, yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken or their children begging bread. They are always generous and lend freely; their children will be a blessing.

Deuteronomy 10:18 He defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow, and loves the foreigner residing among you, giving them food and clothing.

Psalm 145:15,16 The eyes of all look to you, and you give them their food at the proper time. You open your hand and satisfy the desires of every living thing.

Deuteronomy 8:18 Remember the LORD your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth.

Psalm 34:7 The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear him, and he delivers them.

Psalm 68:6 God sets the lonely in families.

Romans 13:1 Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.

Leviticus 26:6 I will grant peace in the land, and you will lie down and no one will make you afraid.

Daily bread includes everything God gives for our bodily welfare.

269. For what purposes does God give us our daily bread?

Psalm 145:15 The eyes of all look to you, and you give them their food at the proper time.

Philippians 4:19 My God will meet all your needs.

Acts 14:17 He has shown kindness by giving you rain from heaven and crops in their seasons; he provides you with plenty of food and fills your hearts with joy.

2 Corinthians 9:8,11 God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanks- giving to God.

1 Timothy 5:8 Anyone who does not provide for their relatives, and especially for their own household, has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.

James 2:15,16 Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it?

2 Corinthians 8:7 See that you also excel in this grace of giving.

Proverbs 3:9 Honor the LORD with your wealth, with the firstfruits of all your crops.

1 Corinthians 16:2 On the first day of every week, each one of you should set aside a sum of money in keeping with your income, saving it up.

Proverbs 14:31 Whoever oppresses the poor shows contempt for their Maker, but whoever is kind to the needy honors God.

God gives us daily bread in order to provide for our physical needs and to provide us with a means to honor him and serve others.

273. What attitude does God want us to have regarding the way we use the physical blessings he has given to us?

Psalm 24:1 The earth is the LORD’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it.

Matthew 6:33,34 Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

2 Corinthians 9:8 God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.

Luke 12:15-21 (Jesus warned against the desire to heap up blessings for our own pleasure rather than using our blessings to his glory and for the benefit of his kingdom.)

1 Corinthians 4:2 Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful.

Luke 6:38 Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.

2 Corinthians 8:1-15 (The Macedonian churches considered it a great blessing to be able to give of their own blessings in order to help fellow Christians.)

2 Corinthians 9:7 Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.

Matthew 25:14-30 (Jesus told a parable about a king. Before leaving on an extended journey, the king entrusted his servants with bags of money, expecting them to put the money to good use while he was gone. Through the parable, Jesus teaches us to use what he has given us wisely and faithfully.)

Luke 16:9 I tell you, use worldly wealth to gain friends for yourselves, so that when it is gone, you will be welcomed into eternal dwellings.

God wants us to be faithful managers of all the blessings he has given us, generously and cheerfully placing him first in all we do.

274. What do we confess about ourselves when we pray the Fifth Petition?

Psalm 51:4 Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight.

Romans 3:10,12 There is no one righteous, not even one. All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one.

Psalm 143:2 Do not bring your servant into judgment, for no one living is righteous before you.

Genesis 32:10 I am unworthy of all the kindness and faithfulness you have shown your servant.

Romans 6:23 The wages of sin is death.

Because we sin every day by our thoughts, words, and deeds, we don’t deserve to have God answering our prayers and giving us what we want or need. Instead, we deserve eternal punishment.

276. Why can we be confident that this petition will be granted?

Matthew 11:28 Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.

Revelation 1:5 To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood . . .

Psalm 103:12 As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.

Jeremiah 31:34 I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.

Matthew 9:2 Take heart, son; your sins are forgiven.

Acts 10:43 Everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.

1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

Matthew 26:28 This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.

God accomplished our forgiveness by sending his Son to take the guilt of our sins upon himself on a cross. He forgives us through his Word and through the Sacraments.

278. We treasure the forgiveness of sins. What are we eager to do when others sin against us?

Colossians 3:13 Forgive as the Lord forgave you.

Matthew 18:21,22 “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?” Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.”

Matthew 18:23-35 (Jesus used a parable to show that it is incomprehensible that we would refuse to forgive others if we have been forgiven all of our sins. See verses 32 and 33.) I canceled all that debt of yours because you begged me to. Shouldn’t you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?

Ephesians 4:32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

Luke 6:36 Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.

280. What is temptation?

Genesis 3:1-13 (The devil tempted Adam and Eve to rebel against God.)

James 1:14,15 Each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.

Galatians 1:6,7 I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you to live in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel—which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ.

Temptations are the attempts of our spiritual enemies to lure us away from God and his truth.

281. Who are these spiritual enemies that attempt to lure us away from God?

Revelation 12:9 The great dragon was hurled down—that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray.

1 John 2:15,16 Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them. For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world.

2 Peter 2:18 They mouth empty, boastful words and, by appealing to the lustful desires of the flesh, they entice people who are just escaping from those who live in error.

Romans 7:18 I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out.

Mark 7:21,22 It is from within, out of a person’s heart, that evil thoughts come—sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly.

283. Who is responsible when we give in to temptation?

James 1:13 When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone.

James 1:14,15 Each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.

284. The Bible tells us that God never tempts anyone to sin. What, then, are we asking when we pray that our Father in heaven lead us not into temptation?

Matthew 26:41 Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.

2 Thessalonians 3:3 The Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen you and protect you from the evil one.

1 Peter 1:5 [You] through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time.

Philippians 4:7 The peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

In this petition we ask our Father in heaven to guard and keep us from temptation.

Luke 22:31,32 Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift all of you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.

Ephesians 6:11,13,17 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

1 Corinthians 10:12,13 If you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall! No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.

Hebrews 4:15 We do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin.

Hebrews 2:18 Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.

Hebrews 12:1,2 Let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.

1 Corinthians 9:25-27 Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air. No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.

With this petition we ask our Father in heaven to strengthen and preserve us when we face temptation so that we may overcome and win the victory.


September 24-30: The seventh petition and the doxology

Seventh petition: But deliver us from evil.

Doxology: For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours now and forever. Amen.

286. What is the cause of all evil in the world?

Genesis 3:16-19,24 (Pain and suffering, hurt relationships, difficult working conditions, death, and loss of fellowship with God all came as the result of sin.)

Romans 6:23 The wages of sin is death.

Matthew 15:19 Out of the heart come evil thoughts—murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander.

288. In what ways does God answer our prayers to rescue us from evils that threaten our bodies and souls, properties and reputations?

Psalm 121:7,8 The LORD will keep you from all harm—he will watch over your life; the LORD will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.

Psalm 91:9,10 If you say, “The LORD is my refuge,” and you make the Most High your dwelling, no harm will overtake you, no disaster will come near your tent.

Our Father in heaven may keep evil from us.

Romans 8:28 We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

2 Corinthians 4:17 Our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.

Romans 5:3-5 We also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.

2 Corinthians 1:3,4 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ . . . who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.

When our Father in heaven allows evil to touch our lives, he promises to work good through it.

Deuteronomy 8:5 Know then in your heart that as a man disciplines his son, so the LORD your God disciplines you.

Proverbs 3:12 The LORD disciplines those he loves, as a father the son he delights in.

Hebrews 12:6 The Lord disciplines the one he loves, and he chastens everyone he accepts as his son.

2 Corinthians 7:9,10 Now I am happy, not because you were made sorry, but because your sorrow led you to repentance. For you became sorrowful as God intended and so were not harmed in any way by us. Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death.

Our Father in heaven may use evil to discipline us or to lead us to repentance.

2 Corinthians 12:9 He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.

Psalm 94:17-19 Unless the LORD had given me help, I would soon have dwelt in the silence of death. When I said, “My foot is slipping,” your unfailing love, LORD, supported me. When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought me joy.

1 Peter 5:10 The God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.

2 Thessalonians 3:3 The Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen you and protect you from the evil one.

Matthew 10:24,25 The student is not above the teacher, nor a servant above his master. It is enough for students to be like their teachers, and servants like their masters. If the head of the house has been called Beelzebul, how much more the members of his household!

Matthew 5:11,12 Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

When our Father in heaven allows evil to touch our lives, he strengthens us and encourages us so that we are able to bear the evil.


A closer look

Theology of the cross

If God is on the side of Christians, shouldn’t Christians have trouble-free lives? It can be tempting to wish for that—how wonderful it would be to have lives free from pain or sorrow, lives of glory!

We look forward to that kind of life in eternity. But life is different here. Jesus has told us that as we follow him on this earth, we can expect to share in his cross. We can expect to have troubles and hardships even because we are Christians. So does that mean that God doesn’t love us? Not at all. Remember, God accomplished our salvation through the suffering of his Son. God has promised to bring blessing through our sufferings too.

God’s ultimate purpose for the crosses we endure in life is to turn us back to Christ’s cross and the promises of his unfailing love and sure deliverance. While we are here on earth, God strengthens us through the gospel. At life’s end, when our journey here is finished, God promises to take us from this world of sorrow and trouble to heaven.


290. What is our Christian response as we see the evil in the world?

Psalm 42:5 Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.

Psalm 85:8 I will listen to what God the LORD says; he promises peace to his people.

Psalm 73:25,26 Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.

Romans 8:18 I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.

Psalm 146:3,5 Do not put your trust in princes, in human beings, who cannot save. Blessed are those whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the LORD their God.

292. Why can we be confident that our Father in heaven will hear and answer our petitions?

Matthew 7:7,8 Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.

John 14:13,14 I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.

Romans 8:32 He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?

1 John 5:14,15 This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him.

We are confident that he hears and answers our petitions because he promises to give us whatever we ask in Jesus’ name.

Matthew 19:26 With God all things are possible.

Matthew 8:27 The men were amazed and asked, “What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey him!”

Ephesians 3:20,21 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.

Exodus 16 (The Lord miraculously provided manna and quail for the people to eat.)

Psalm 78:24 He rained down manna for the people to eat, he gave them the grain of heaven.

Psalm 29:2 Ascribe to the LORD the glory due his name; worship the LORD in the splendor of his holiness.

Psalm 18:3 I called to the LORD, who is worthy of praise, and I have been saved from my enemies.

Revelation 5:12 Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise!

We can be confident that he hears and answers our petitions because he rules over everything, possesses all power, and is worthy of our glory and praise.


A closer look

Why do we say these words?

The words of the Doxology are a very appropriate ending to the Lord’s Prayer. They confess our confidence in God, who answers our prayers. Similar words were spoken by David in 1 Chronicles 29:11, as he gave praise to God in prayer. There is some uncertainty as to whether Jesus himself included those words when teaching his disciples how to pray in Matthew 6. Whatever the case, many Christians for centuries have joyfully concluded the Lord’s Prayer with this confident confession of praise.


293. Why do we conclude our prayers with the word Amen?

James 1:6,7 When you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord.

Psalm 20:7 Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God.

2 Samuel 7:28 Sovereign LORD, you are God! Your covenant is trustworthy, and you have promised these good things to your servant.

Nehemiah 8:6 Ezra praised the LORD, the great God; and all the people lifted their hands and responded, “Amen! Amen!” Then they bowed down and worshiped the LORD with their faces to the ground.

Psalm 62:8 Trust in him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge.

Psalm 13:5 I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation.

Psalm 121:1,2 I lift up my eyes to the mountains—where does my help come from? My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth.

Psalm 73:25,26 Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.

Amen means “Yes! It shall be so.” We use the word Amen because we are not doubting but firmly believing that our Father in heaven will hear and answer our prayers.

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This entry is part 3 of 6 in the series catechism-review

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