How To Explain "The Model Prayer."

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Puritan Board Freshman
I was reading some online inquiries regarding the theological implications of some elements in traditional worship. It brought to mind a question that may very well have a very simple answer.

When asked for instruction on how to pray, our Lord included the following:

“9 ¶ After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. 10 Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as [it is] in heaven. 11 Give us this day our daily bread. 12 And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. 13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.” (Mt 6:9-13 AV)

With particular interest in verse 10, how would you suggest explaining to one skeptical of the doctrine of God's Eternal Decree what is intended by this particular instruction?

While a similar inquiry might well be made regarding any petition before a God who has eternally decreed all that will certainly come to pass, this particular element of the Lord's instruction would seem to be a the crux of the perceived dichotomy.


Alan D. Strange

Puritan Board Senior
Well, both the SC and LC flesh out what is meant by the second and third petitions: see LC 191-192 and SC 102-103.

Could you sharpen the focus of your concern? Is it, on the part of the anti-decretalist, "how do you pray for God's will to be done when, as a decretalist, you believe it to be ineluctable?"

If this is the concern, then it applies to the whole of prayer. Why pray if God has decreed whatsoever comes to pass? Because He decrees both ends and means, and prayer is a means in accomplishing His will, in carrying out His divine decrees. He calls us to pray and intends us to pray. That He does never means that He does not retain full sovereignty in the execution of His eternal decrees.

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