November 5 - LD 45, Day 1: The Wonder that is Prayer

Read: Matthew 6:9-15

The Heidelberg Catechism presented in earlier Lord's Days the two great Scriptural truths called "sin" and "grace." It presented sin in all of its terribleness ("I am prone to hate God and my neighbor”). Our first father, Adam, sinned and made all of those born from him guilty and corrupt, worthy of eternal damnation in hell. He was the representative of man for succeeding generations. Besides, each person continues to add to his guiltiness every day. The Bible says that there is none righteous, no, not one (Rom 3:10).

The Heidelberg Catechism presents the one way of deliverance from the wrath of the righteous God. God in His grace sent His Son, the second Person of the Godhead, to pay for the sins of those whom God gave to His Son (John 3:16; 17:24). The wonder of salvation that God works for His people is in the way of the offering of Christ's shed blood on the cross. What a wonder God has done--so that all the glory for the deliverance of His people can be given to God alone.

In the third section of the Heidelberg Catechism, we are taught concerning the proper part of thankfulness to God for what He has done for His people. The question might be asked: "What must I do in order to repay God for His great gift?" Is His gift given conditionally? Must I do something to contribute towards this deliverance? These questions must be answered. The answer is simple and short. There is nothing that we can do to either contribute towards or earn this salvation! Nor is there any possible thing with which we can repay God for this great work of salvation.

But the fruit of salvation must be seen in the way the Christian lives and walks. He shows thanksgiving in all things before God. The Catechism emphasizes two ways that the Christian shows proper thanksgiving. Scripture teaches that the saved person shows and desires to show true thankfulness by obeying God's law--summarized in the Ten Commandments. Obedience to the commandments is not a matter of repayment but the fruit of God's work in His people.

The second aspect of thankfulness is prayer. Prayer is the God-given avenue to the very throne of God. Prayer is our "hotline" to the eternal God. It is the means both to praise God for His greatness and glory and to make petitions for our own needs and cares on this earth.

But how does one pray to God? For what must we ask God? It was the concern of Christ's disciples too. In Luke 11:1b, the disciples came to Christ and asked, "Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples." Then Christ taught them what is called "The Lord's Prayer." What a prayer that is! In six petitions, with few words, Christ gives a summary of what proper prayer is, and for what we must ask. In a prayer that can be uttered in less than half a minute, Christ shows us the model for and summary of prayer. This we must briefly study in the remaining Lord's Days of the Catechism.

Last modified on 08 November 2015

Additional Info

  • Date: 5-November
Van Baren, Gise J.

Rev. G. Van Baren (Wife: Clara)

Ordained: October, 1956

Pastorates: Doon, IA - 1956; Randolph, WI - 1962; First, Grand Rapids, MI - 1965; Hudsonville, MI - 1977; Loveland, CO - 1994

Emeritus: 1999

Website: www.sermonaudio.com/search.asp?speakeronly=true&currsection=sermonsspeaker&keyword=Rev._Gise_Van_Baren

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