What Is Prayer?
WHAT IS PRAYER?
[From two catechisms and a dictionary . . . ]
Question 98. What is prayer?
Answer: Prayer is an offering up of our desires unto God, for things
agreeable to his will, in the name of Christ, with confession of our sins,
and thankful acknowledgment of his mercies.
ó The Westminster Shorter Catechism, 1647
[This next one is very similar. You can tell where these early Baptists went
for their start on this question and answer.]
Question: What is prayer?
Answer: Prayer is an offering up our desires to God (Psalm 62:8), by the
assistance of the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:26), for things agreeable to his will
(1 John 5:14; Romans 8:27), in the name of Christ (John 16:23), believing
(Matthew 21:22; James 1:6), with confession of our sins (Psalm 32:5- 6;
Daniel 9:4), and thankful acknowledgments of his mercies (Philippians 4:6).
ó The Baptist Catechism, Charleston Association of 1813
prayer, n. 1. a devout petition to, or any form of spiritual communion with
God or an object of worship. 2. the act or practice of praying to God or an
object of worship. 3. a spiritual communion with God or an object of
worship, as in supplication, thanksgiving, adoration, or confession. 4. a
formula or sequence of words used in or appointed for praying, THE LORDíS
PRAYER. 5. a religious observance, either public or private, consisting
wholly or mainly for prayer.
óRANDOM HOUSE DICTIONARY OF THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE, UNABRIDGED EDITION, 1967
[Donít just talk about it or memorize it. Do it!]
Have a great week,
Director, Institute for Christian Worship
School of Church Music and Worship
Southern Baptist Theological Seminary