What is Prayer?

What is Prayer? By Jack Kettler

As in previous studies, we will look at definitions, scriptures, lexical, and commentary evidence and confessional support for the purpose to glorify God in how we live. This study is a continuation of a previous study on heaven.

Definitions:

Prayer: from Question 178, Westminster Larger Confession is an offering up of our desires unto God,[1] in the name of Christ,[2] by the help of his Spirit;[3] with confession of our sins,[4] and thankful acknowledgment of his mercies.[5] *

1. Psa. 62:8: “Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your heart before him; God is a refuge for us.”

2. John 16:23: “In that day you will ask nothing of me. Truly, truly, I say to you, whatever you ask of the Father in my name, he will give it to you.”

3. Rom. 8:26 Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.

4. Psa. 32:5-6: “I acknowledged my sin to you, and I did not cover my iniquity; I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,” and you forgave the iniquity of my sin. Selah 6 Therefore let everyone who is godly offer prayer to you at a time when you may be found; surely in the rush of great waters, they shall not reach him.” Dan. 9:4: “I prayed to the Lord my God and made confession, saying, “O Lord, the great and awesome God, who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments….”

5. Phil. 4:6: “…do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.”

Prayer: is a privilege and an obligation of the Christian where we communicate with God. It is how we convey our confession (1John 1:9), requests (1Timothy 2:1-3), intercessions (James 5:15), thanksgiving (Philippians 4:6), etc., to our holy God. We are commanded to pray (1Thessalonians 5:17). Some personal requirements of prayer are a pure heart (Psalms 66:18), belief in Christ (John 14:13), and that the prayer be according to God’s will (1 John 5:13). We can pray standing (Nehemiah 9:5), kneeling (Ezra 9:5), sitting (1Chronicles 17:16-27), bowing (Exodus 34:8), and with lifted hands (1Timothy 2:8). **

Types of prayer:

The prayer of faith in James 5:15 from Matthew Poole’s Commentary:

“And the prayer of faith; i.e. proceeding from faith; the cure is ascribed to prayer, the moral means, and standing ordinance, not to the anointing, which was but ceremonial and temporary; and to faith in prayer, to show that this remedy was effectual only when faith (requisite to the working of miracles) was active, viz. in a certain persuasion that the sick person should be healed.

Shall save the sick; restore to health, (if God see it fit, and the health of the body be good for the soul), Mark 10:52 Luke 7:50 18:42.

And the Lord shall raise him up; the elders pray, but the Lord raiseth up, being prayed to in faith.

Raise him up; the same as saving before, only the word seems to respect the sick man’s lying upon his bed, from which he riseth when he is healed, Mark 1:31.

If he have committed sins; if he have by his sins procured his sickness; or, those sins for which particularly God visits him with sickness; sin being often the cause of sickness, Matthew 9:2 John 5:14 1 Corinthians 11:30, though not always, John 9:2.

They shall be forgiven him; God will take away the cause as well as the effect, heal the soul as well as the body, and prayer is the means of obtaining both.” (1)

Public prayer on Acts 1:14 from Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary:

“14. Continued with one accord—knit by a bond stronger than death.

In prayer and supplication—for the promised baptism, the need of which in their orphan state would be increasingly felt.

And Mary the mother of Jesus—distinguished from the other “women,” but “so as to exclude the idea of her having any pre-eminence over the disciples. We find her with the rest in prayer to her glorified Son” [Webster and Wilkinson]. This is the last mention of her in the New Testament. The fable of the Assumption of the Virgin has no foundation even in tradition [Alford]. With his brethren—(See on [1935] John 7:3).” (2)

Closet or Private Prayer on Matthew 6:6 from Barnes’ Notes on the Bible:

“Enter into thy closet – Every Jewish house had a place for secret devotion. The roofs of their houses were flat places, well adapted for walking, conversation, and meditation. See the notes at Matthew 9:2. Professor Hackett (“Illustrations of Scripture,” p. 82) says; “On the roof of the house in which I lodged at Damascus were chambers and rooms along the side and at the corners of the open space or terrace, which constitutes often a sort of upper story. I observed the same thing in connection with other houses.” Over the porch, or entrance of the house, there was frequently a small room of the size of the porch, raised a story above the rest of the house, expressly appropriated for the place of retirement. Here, in secrecy and solitude, the pious Jew might offer his prayers, unseen by any but the Searcher of hearts. To this place, or to some similar place, our Saviour directed his disciples to repair when they wished to hold communion with God.” (3)

The prayer of supplication on 1Timothy 2:1 from Ellicott’s Commentary for English Readers:

“Supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks.—Many attempts, some of them not very happy ones, have been made by grammarians and commentators to distinguish between these terms, each of which denotes prayer. On the whole, it may be assumed that the Greek word translated “supplications” signifies a request for particular benefits, and is a special form of the more general word rendered “prayers.” The third expression in the English version translated “intercessions” suggests a closer and more intimate communion with God on the part of the one praying. It speaks of drawing near God, of entering into free, familiar speech with Him. The Greek word suggests prayer in its most individual, urgent form. The fourth term, “giving of thanks,” expresses that which ought never to be absent from any of our devotions, gratitude for past mercies. Archbishop Trench remarks how this peculiar form of prayer will subsist in heaven when, in the very nature of things, all other forms of prayer will have ceased in the entire fruition of the things prayed for, for then only will the redeemed know how much they owe to their Lord. The word Eucharist is derived from the Greek word used in this place—eucharistia—for in the Holy Communion the Church embodies its highest act of thanksgiving for the highest benefits received.” (4)

The prayer of thanksgiving and praise on Philippians 4:6 from The Pulpit Commentary:

“Verse 6. – Be careful for nothing; rather, as R.V., in nothing be anxious. Μέριμνα is anxious, distracting care. St. Paul does not wish his converts to be careless, but to be free from that over-anxiety about worldly things, which might distract their thoughts from the service of God, and hinder their growth in holiness. Comp. 1 Peter 5:7, where the apostle bids us cast all our care (μέριμνα) upon God. The thought of the Lord’s nearness should lead us both to be forbearing in our relations to others, and also to keep ourselves free, as far as may be, from worldly anxieties. “He careth for us.” But in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. “Curare et orare,” says Bengel, “plus inter se pugnant quam aqua et ignis.” In everything; in each emergency, little or great, as it arises, pray; cultivate the habit of referring all things, great or small, to God in prayer. The two words rendered “prayer” and “supplication” προσευχή and δέησις) occur together also in Ephesians 6:18; 1 Timothy 2:1 and Ephesians 5:5. The first has been defined by Chrysostom and others as prayer to obtain a good; the second, prayer to avoid an evil Better, perhaps, as most modern commentators, προσευχή is the general word, covering the idea of prayer in its widest meaning; while δέησις is a special act of supplication for some particular object of need (see Trench, ‘Synonyms of the New Testament,’ sect. 51.). With thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is the necessary accompaniment of prayer; it ought never to be absent from our devotions; it springs out of that holy joy which St. Paul so constantly sets before us in this Epistle as the bounden duty of Christians. St. Paul himself is an example of constant thanksgiving. All his Epistles, except those to the Galatians, 1Timothy, and Titus, open with a thanksgiving. In the dungeon at Philippi, he and Silas “prayed and sang praises unto God” (Acts 16:25). Our requests, the things for which we ask, are to be made known unto God; πρὸς τὸν Θεόν before God, in the presence of God, by prayer, the general converse of the soul with God; and by supplication, direct petitions for the supply of our necessities. Indeed, he knows our necessities before we ask; but we are encouraged to make them known before him, as Hezekiah took the letter of Sennacherib and spread it before the Lord.” (5)

Comments on Corporate prayer on Matthew 6:9-13 from Corporate Aspects of the Lord’s Prayer:*

“Jesus often took a small group of disciples with him when he went off to pray. Before he was transfigured, “he took Peter, John and James with him and went up onto a mountain to pray” (Luke 9:28). He took his disciples to watch and pray with him in the Garden of Gethsemane (Matt. 26:36-38). To this very day, Jesus calls his disciples to come away in small groups to pray, for wherever two or three come together in his name, he is right there with them (Matt. 18:20).

Since Jesus has commanded us to pray together, we should pray in our homes. Roommates should pray together—daily if possible, but at least weekly. Parents should pray with their children at mealtimes, at bedtime, and throughout the day. Husbands and wives should pray together about the needs of their household.

Christians should also pray together in small groups. Home Bible studies and fellowship groups are sometimes considered a recent development in the life of the church. Yet wise Christians have never been satisfied to worship only once a week. They have always gathered during the week for prayer. The first apostles went to the temple to pray. The apostle Paul held house meetings in all the churches he planted. Even under persecution, Christians met in places like the catacombs to pray. Societies of men and women were organized for prayer throughout the Middle Ages. During the Reformation, pastors met together for Bible teaching and prayer. Many of the Puritans formed house groups. In short, Christians have always met regularly to pray with their brothers and sisters. If prayer meetings were good for people like Peter, Lydia, Bernard of Clairvaux (1090-1153), and Ulrich Zwingli (1484-1531), they will be good for you, too. One of the things that makes the church a community is the fact that believers pray together.

Since the Lord’s Prayer is a family prayer, we not only pray with one another, we also pray for one another. In the last three petitions, we do not pray for ourselves, primarily, but for the whole church.

OUR DAILY BREAD

When we say, “Give us today our daily bread,” we are praying for our daily provision. We are asking God to meet the material needs of our brothers and sisters. This is why church bulletins often mention who is in the hospital, or what a missionary needs, or which family needs help moving. It is also why small groups spend time sharing personal prayer requests. When Jesus taught us to pray, he taught us to pray for the needs of the family.

Praying for a brother or a sister is one sign of spiritual maturity. Imagine a very demanding little boy. Every day he asks his parents to feed him breakfast, to find his shirt, to tie his shoes, to take him to the park, to give him a snack, and to do a hundred other things for him. Then one day the boy makes a request, not for himself, but for his little sister. He says, “Dad, can you help my sister? She climbed up on the dresser and she can’t get down.” The boy’s father will be touched by his son’s concern for another family member. In the same way, our Father in heaven wants us to ask for daily provision for our brothers and sisters.

OUR DAILY PARDON

We are also to pray for our daily pardon, which is what we do when we say, “Forgive us our debts.” Some sins are private sins. They are committed by an individual within the privacy of the heart. While every Christian needs to confess his or her own personal sin, other sins are corporate sins. They are committed by nations, cities, churches, or families. They are no one’s fault in particular, but they are everyone’s fault in general. God thus holds us responsible, not only for our individual sins, but also for the sins of our group. That is why so many of the great heroes of the Old Testament—Daniel, for example (Dan. 9:4-19), and Ezra (Ezra 9:5-15)—confessed the sins of the entire nation.

When we pray the Lord’s Prayer, we confess not only our individual sins, but especially the corporate sins of the church. What are the prevailing sins of your church? Pride? Envy? Hypocrisy? Prejudice? Greed? These are the kinds of sins which require corporate repentance. As a general rule, the Holy Spirit does not come in his reviving power until a church confesses its sins as a church.

LEAD US NOT INTO TEMPTATION

Finally, when we say, “Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil,” we pray for our daily protection. As a pastor, I often offer this kind of prayer on behalf of our congregation: “Some of us will be tempted to sin today, Lord. Keep us from falling! Provide a way of escape! Save us from sin and from Satan!”

Daily provision, daily pardon, daily protection—these are the things we ask for in our family prayer. By praying these things for one another, we strengthen our family ties. As Cyprian once explained:

Before all things, the Teacher of peace and the Master of unity would not have prayer to be made singly and individually, as for one who prays to pray for himself alone. For we say not “My Father, which art in heaven,” nor “Give me this day my daily bread;” nor does each one ask that only his own debt should be forgiven him; nor does he request for himself alone that he may not be led into temptation, and delivered from evil. Our prayer is public and common; and when we pray, we pray not for one, but for the whole people, because we the whole people are one.” (6)

The prayer of consecration on Romans 12:1 from The Essentials of Prayer by Edward M. Bounds:

“Consecration is much more than a life of so-called service. It is a life of personal holiness, first of all. It is that which brings spiritual power into the heart and enlivens the entire inner man. It is a life, which ever recognizes God, and a life given up to true prayer.

Never is he to be contented till he is fully, entirely the Lord’s by his own consent. His praying naturally and involuntarily leads up to this one act of his.

Consecration is the voluntary set dedication of one’s self to God, an offering definitely made, and made without any reservation whatever. It is the setting apart of all we are, all we have, and all we expect to have or be, to God first of all. It is not so much the giving of ourselves to the Church, or the mere engaging in some one line of Church work. Almighty God is in view and He is the end of all consecration. It is a separation of one’s self to God, a devotement of all that he is and has to a sacred use. Some things may be devoted to a special purpose, but it is not consecration in the true sense. Consecration has a sacred nature. It is devoted to holy ends. It is the voluntary putting of one’s self in God’s hands to be used sacredly, holily, with sanctifying ends in view.” (7)

Intercessory prayer on 1Samuel 12:23 from The Pulpit Commentary:

“Verse 23. – God forbid, Hebrew, ‘Far be it from me.’ That I should sin… in ceasing to pray for you. In no character of the Old Testament does this duty of intercessory prayer stand forward so prominently as in Samuel (see ver. 19); nor does he rest content with this, but adds, I will teach you the good and the right way. This was a far higher office than that of ruler; and not only was Samuel earnest in discharging this prophetic office of teaching, but he made provision for a supply of teachers and preachers for all future time by founding the schools of the prophets.” (8)

Imprecatory prayers on Psalm 79:6 from Gill’s Exposition of the Entire Bible:

“Pour out thy wrath upon the Heathen that have not known thee,…. Who had poured out the blood of the saints like water, and therefore it was a righteous thing with God to pour out the cup of wrath in his hands, and cause them to drink the dregs of it: these words, though they are in the form of an imprecation, yet regard not private revenge, but public justice, and the honour of God; and, besides, may be considered as a prophecy of what would be, and particularly of God’s pouring out the vials of his wrath on the antichristian states; who, though they profess Christianity, are no other than Heathens, and have no spiritual and serious knowledge of Christ:

and upon the kingdoms that have not called upon thy name; but upon their idols of gold, silver, brass, and stone, on the Virgin Mary, angels, and saints departed; for these, besides the kingdoms of Babylon, Syria, and Rome Pagan, are the kingdoms of the ten kings, that gave their kingdoms to the beast, and committed fornication, i.e. idolatry, with the whore of Rome; see Revelation 17:2, these words are referred to in Jeremiah 10:25 and also the following.” (9)

Pastoral prayers on Philemon 1:4 from Barnes’ Notes on the Bible:

“I thank my God – That is, for what I hear of you.

Making mention of thee always in my prayers – See a similar declaration respecting the church at Ephesus, Ephesians 1:16. It would appear from this that Paul, in his private devotions, was in the habit of mentioning churches and individuals by name. It would seem, also, that though he was a prisoner, yet he somehow found opportunity for secret devotion. And it would appear further, that, though encompassed with many cares and sorrows, and about to be put on trial for his life, he did not forget to remember a Christian brother though far distant from him, and to bear him on his heart before the throne of grace. To remember with affectionate concern these churches and individuals, as he did, Paul must have been a man of much prayer.” (10)

Prayers of Forgiveness Luke 11:4 from The Pulpit Commentary:

“Verse 4. – And forgive us our sins, for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us. Unforgiving is unforgiven. Nothing apparently more easy to frame with the lips, and to desire intensely with the heart, than this petition that the Father would forgive us our sins, only, in praying the prayer, how many forget, or at least slur over, the condition of that forgiveness – a condition they impose themselves! We forget the ten thousand talents as we exact the hundred pence, and, in the act of exacting, we bring back again the weight of the great debt on ourselves. And lead us not into temptation. The simple meaning of this concluding petition in St. Luke’s report of the prayer is, ‘Thou knowest, Father, how weak I am; let me not be tempted above that I am able.’” (11)

In closing, a fine summation of prayer:

Prayer from the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia:

“prar (deesis, proseuche, (enteuxis; for an excellent discussion of the meaning of these see Thayer’s Lexicon, p. 126, under the word deesis; the chief verbs are euchomai, proseuchomai, and deomai, especially in Luke and Acts; aiteo, “to ask a favor” distinguished from erotao, “to ask a question,” is found occasionally): In the Bible “prayer” is used in a simpler and a more complex a narrower and a wider signification. In the former case it is supplication for benefits either for one’s self (petition) or for others (intercession). In the latter, it is an act of worship, which covers all soul in its approach to God. Supplication is at the heart of it, for prayer always springs out of a sense of need and a belief that God is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him (Heb. 11:6). But adoration and confession and thanksgiving also find a place, so that the suppliant becomes a worshipper. It is unnecessary to distinguish all the various terms for prayer that are employed in the Old Testament and the New Testament. But the fact should be noticed that in the Hebrew and Greek aloe there are on the one hand words for prayer that denote a direct petition or short, sharp cry of the heart in its distress (Ps 30:2; 2Co 12:8), and on the other “prayers” like that of Hannah (1Sa 2:1-10), which is in reality a song of thanksgiving, or that of Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ, in which intercession is mingled with doxology (Eph. 3:14-21).

1. In the Old Testament:

The history of prayer as it meets us here reflects various stages of experience and revelation. In the patriarchal period, when `men began to call upon the name of the Lord’ (Ge 4:26; compare Ge 12:8; 21:33), prayer is naive, familiar and direct (Ge 15:2 ff; Ge 17:18; 18:23 ff; Ge 24:12). It is evidently associated with sacrifice (Ge 12:8; 13:4; 26:25), the underlying idea probably being that the gift or offering would help to elicit the desired response. Analogous to this is Jacob’s vow, itself a species of prayer, in which the granting of desired benefits becomes the condition of promised service and fidelity (Ge 28:20 ff). In the pre-exilic history of Israel prayer still retains many of the primitive features of the patriarchal type (Ex 3:4; Nu 11:11-15; Jg 6:13 ff; Jg 11:30 f; 1Sa 1:11; 2Sa 15:8; Ps 66:13 f). The Law has remarkably little to say on the subject, differing here from the later Judaism (see Schurer, HJP,II, i, 290, index-vol, p. 93; and compare Mt 6:5 ff; Mt 23:14; Ac 3:1; 16:13); while it confirms the association of prayer with sacrifices, which now appear, however, not as gifts in anticipation of benefits to follow, but as expiations of guilt (De 21:1-9) or thank offerings for past mercies (De 26:1-11). Moreover, the free, frank access of the private individual to God is more and more giving place to the mediation of the priest (De 21:5; 26:3), the intercession of the prophet (Ex 32:11-13; 1Sa 7:5-13; 12:23), the ordered approach of tabernacle and temple services (Ex 40:1-38; 1Ki 8:1-66). The prophet, it is true, approaches God immediately and freely–Moses (Ex 34:34; De 34:10) and David (2Sa 7:27) are to be numbered among the prophets–but he does so in virtue of his office, and on the ground especially of his possession of the Spirit and his intercessory function (compare Eze 2:2; Jer. 14:15).

A new epoch in the history of prayer in Israel was brought about by the experiences of the Exile. Chastisement drove the nation to seek God more earnestly than before, and as the way of approach through the external forms of the temple and its sacrifices was now closed, the spiritual path of prayer was frequented with a new assiduity. The devotional habits of Ezra (Ezr 7:27; 8:23), Nehemlab (Ne 2:4; 4:4,9, etc.) and Daniel (Da 6:10) prove how large a place prayer came to hold in the individual life; while the utterances recorded in Ezr 9:6-15; Ne 1:5-11; 9:5-38; Da 9:4-19; Isa 63:7 through Isa 64:12 serve as illustrations of the language and spirit of the prayers of the Exile, and show especially the prominence now given to confession of sin. In any survey of the Old Testament teaching the Psalms occupy a place by themselves, both on account of the large period they cover in the history and because we are ignorant in most cases as to the particular circumstances of their origin. But speaking generally it may be said that here we see the loftiest flights attained by the spirit of prayer under the old dispensation–the intensest craving for pardon, purity and other spiritual blessings (Ps 51:1-19; 130:1-8), the most heartfelt longing for a living communion with God Himself (Ps 42:2; 63:1; 84:2).

2. In the New Testament:

Here it will be convenient to deal separately with the material furnished by the Gospel narratives of the life and teaching of Christ and that found in the remaining books. The distinctively Christian view of prayer comes to us from the Christ of the Gospels. We have to notice His own habits in the matter (Lu 3:21; 6:12; 9:16,29; 22:32,39-46; 23:34-46; Mt 27:46; Joh 17:1-26), which for all who accept Him as the revealer of the Father and the final authority in religion immediately dissipate all theoretical objections to the value and efficacy of prayer. Next we have His general teaching on the subject in parables (Lu 11:5-9; 18:1-14) and incidental sayings (Mt 5:44; 6:5-8; 7:7-11; 9:38; 17:21; 18:19; 21:22; 24:20; 26:41 and the parallels), which presents prayer, not as a mere energizing of the religious soul that is followed by beneficial spiritual reactions, but as the request of a child to a father (Mt 6:8; 7:11), subject, indeed, to the father’s will (Mt 7:11; compare Mt 6:10; 26:39,42; 1Jo 5:14), but secure always of loving attention and response (Mt 7:7-11; 21:22). In thus teaching us to approach God as our Father, Jesus raised prayer to its highest plane, making it not less reverent than it was at its best in Old Testament times, while far more intimate and trustful. In the LORD’S PRAYER (which see). He summed up His ordinary teaching on the subject in a concrete example which serves as a model and breviary of prayer (Mt 6:9-13; Lu 11:2-4). But according to the Fourth Gospel, this was not His final word upon the subject. On the night of the betrayal, and in full view of His death and resurrection and ascension to God’s right hand, He told His disciples that prayer was henceforth to be addressed to the Father in the name of the Son, and that prayer thus offered was sure to be granted (Joh 16:23-24,26). The differentia of Christian prayer thus consists in its being offered in the name of Christ; while the secret of its success lies on the one hand in the new access to the Father which Christ has secured for His people (Joh 17:19; compare Heb. 4:14-16; 10:19-22), and on the other in the fact that prayer offered in the name of Christ will be prayer in harmony with the Father’s will (Joh 15:7; compare 1Jo 3:22 f; 1Jo 5:13 f).

In the Acts and Epistles, we see the apostolic church giving effect to Christ’s teaching on prayer. It was in a praying atmosphere that the church was born (Ac 1:14; compare Ac 2:1); and throughout its early history prayer continued to be its vital breath and native air (Ac 2:42; 3:1; 6:4, 6 and passim). The Epistles abound in references to prayer. Those of Paul in particular contain frequent allusions to his own personal practice in the matter (Ro 1:9; Eph. 1:16; Php 1:9; 1Th 1:2, etc.), and many exhortations to his readers to cultivate the praying habit (Ro 12:12; Eph. 6:18; Php 4:6; 1Th 5:17, etc.). But the new and characteristic thing about Christian prayer as it meets us now is its connection with the Spirit. It has become a spiritual gift (1Co 14:14-16); and even those who have not this gift in the exceptional charismatic sense may “pray in the Spirit” whenever they come to the throne of grace (Eph 6:18; Jude 1:20). The gift of the Spirit, promised by Christ (Joh 14:16 ff, etc.), has raised prayer to its highest power by securing for it a divine cooperation (Ro 8:15, 26; Ga 4:6). Thus Christian prayer in its full New Testament meaning is prayer addressed to God as Father, in the name of Christ as Mediator, and through the enabling grace of the indwelling Spirit.” See PRAYERS OF CHRIST. J. C. Lambert (12)

Quotes on prayer:

“To be a Christian without prayer is no more possible than to be alive without breathing.” – Martin Luther

“True prayer is neither a mere mental exercise nor a vocal performance. It is far deeper than that – it is spiritual transaction with the Creator of Heaven and Earth.” – Charles Spurgeon

“Prayer delights God’s ear; it melts His heart; and opens His hand. God cannot deny a praying soul.” – Thomas Watson

“God tolerates even our stammering, and pardons our ignorance whenever something inadvertently escapes us – as, indeed, without this mercy there would be no freedom to pray.” – John Calvin

Notes:

1. Matthew Poole’s Commentary on the Holy Bible, (Peabody, Massachusetts, Hendrickson Publishers, 1985) p. 881.

2. Jamieson, Fausset and Brown, Commentary on the Whole Bible, (Grand Rapids, Michigan, Zondervan, 1977) p. 1083.

3. Albert Barnes, THE AGES DIGITAL LIBRARYCOMMENTARY, Barnes’ Notes on the Bible, Matthew, Vol.1, p. 104.

4. Charles John Ellicott, Bible Commentary for English Readers, 1Timothy, Vol.3, (London, England, Cassell and Company), p.184.

5. H. D. M. Spence and Joseph S. Exell, The Pulpit Commentary, Philippians, Vol.20., (Grand Rapids, Michigan, Eerdmans Publishing Company reprint 1978), p.156.

6. *This article has been excerpted from Phil Ryken, When You Pray: Making the Lord’s Prayer Your Own, (Phillipsburg, NJ: P&R, 2000; reprinted 2006), p. 43-45.

7. E.M. Bounds, Our High Calling, On Prayer, vol. 2 (Dublin, California, First-Love Publications), p. 77-78.

8. H. D. M. Spence and Joseph S. Exell, The Pulpit Commentary, 1Samuel, Vol. 4., (Grand Rapids, Michigan, Eerdmans Publishing Company reprint 1978), p. 210.

9. John Gill, Exposition of the Old and New Testaments, Psalms, 9 Volumes, (Grace Works, Multi-Media Labs), 2011, p. 918.

10. Albert Barnes, THE AGES DIGITAL LIBRARYCOMMENTARY, Barnes’ Notes on the Bible, Philemon, and Vol.3, p. 4063.

11. H. D. M. Spence and Joseph S. Exell, The Pulpit Commentary, Luke, Vol.16, (Grand Rapids, Michigan, Eerdmans Publishing Company reprint 1978), p. 301.

12. Orr, James, M.A., D.D. General Editor, Entry for “PRAYER,” “International Standard Bible Encyclopedia,” (Grand Rapids, Michigan, Eerdmans, reprinted 1986), pp. 2430-2441.

“To God, only wise, be glory through Jesus Christ forever. Amen.” (Romans 16:27) and “heirs according to the promise.” (Galatians 3:28, 29)

Mr. Kettler has previously published articles in the Chalcedon Report and Contra Mundum. He and his wife Marea attend the Westminster, CO, RPCNA Church. He served as an ordained ruling elder in the Orthodox Presbyterian Church. He worked in and retired from a fortune five hundred company in corporate America after forty years. He runs two blogs sites and is the author of the book defending the Reformed Faith against attacks, titled: The Religion That Started in a Hat. Available at: www.TheReligionThatStartedInAHat.com

For more study:

* For a great source of theological definitions go to Rebecca writes at http://www.rebecca-writes.com/theological-terms-in-ao/

** CARM theological dictionary https://carm.org/dictionary-hermeneutics

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