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1 Peter ii. 5. Yealso as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.
83d Q.-Are not prayer and praise a part of divine worship?
A.-Doubtless, and may be either mental or vocal. Mental prayer is the turning of the mind to God, when the soul awakened by the Spirit of Christ, and bowed under a sense of its wants and unworthiness, looks up to God, and breathes forth its desires without words. Vocal prayer is, when it feels an influence of the Spirit to express audible words, either in public assemblies or in private. In like manner praise and thanksgiving may be either mental or vocal.
Matt. vi. 6. When thou prayest enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret, and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.
Matt. xxvi. 41. Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.
Eph. v. 18. Be filled with the Spirit. 19. Speak-ing to yourselves in psalms, and hymns, and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord. 20. Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Eph. vi. 18. Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance, and supplication for all saints.
Col. iv. 2. Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving.
1 Thess. v. 17. Pray without ceasing. 18. In every thing give thanks.
1 Tim. ii. 8. I will therefore that men pray every where, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting.
Heb. xiii. 15. By him [Jesus] therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to his name.
See also the Proofs to the 59th and 81st Answers.
84th Q.-Did not our Saviour teach his dis ciples how to express themselves in prayer?
A. He did, and cautioned them not to use vain repetitions, but to pray after this manner; "Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread.* And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil." (Matt. vi. 9-13.)
Matt. vi. 7. But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking. 8. Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye stand in need of, before ye ask him. 9. After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father, &c. as above. See also Luke xi. 2-4.
*The context requires us to consider this petition as referring principally, if not wholly, to that spiritual bread which nourisheth up the soul unto eternal life, for as doth the body, so doth thę spiritual life need daily food to sustain it.
85th Q.-Did our Saviour enjoin his disciples to use this form of words whenever they prayed vocally?
A. We do not read that he did, but he enjoined them to pray after such a manner : hence it may be inferred they were to adopt the spirit of that prayer in their addresses to the throne of Grace, and avoid unnecessary and superfluous expressions; as appears from what we meet with in other parts of the Scripture on the subject of prayer.
Luke xviii. 10. Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican. 11. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. 12. I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess. 13. And the publican standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner. 14. I tell you, This man went down to his house justified rather than the other.
Acts iv. 23. And being let go, they [Peter and John] went to their own company, and reported all that the chief priests and elders had said unto them. 24. And when they heard that, they lift up their voice to God with one accord, and said, Lord, thou art God which hast made heaven and earth, and the sea, and all that in them is: 25. Who, by the mouth of thy servant David hast said, Why did the heathen rage, and the people imagine vain things? 26. The kings of the earth stood up, and the rulers were gathered together against the Lord, and against his Christ. 27. For of a truth against thy holy child Jesus, whom thou hast
anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles, and the people of Israel, were gathered together, 28. For to do whatsoever thy hand and thy counsel determined before to be done. 29. And now, Lord, behold their threatenings: and grant unto thy servants, that with all boldness they may speak thy word, 30. By stretching forth thine hand to heal and that signs and wonders may be done by the name of thy holy child Jesus. 31. And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spake the word of God with boldness.
Eph. iii. 14. For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, 15. Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, 16. That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man ; 17. That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, 18. May be able to comprehend with all saints, what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; 19. And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God. 20. Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, 21. Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus, throughout all ages, world without end, Amen.
See also Acts, i. 24, 25.
86th Q. What are the qualifications of a gospel minister?
A. He must have experienced the regenerating power of the Spirit of Christ, by
which only a true knowledge of the things of God and of his kingdom is revealed.
Rom. viii. 5. For they that are after the flesh, do mind the things of the flesh: but they that are after the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. 8. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. 9. But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.
1 Cor. ii. 7. But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom which God ordained before the world unto our glory. 8. Which none of the princes of this world knew. 10. But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit; for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. 13. Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Spirit teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. 14. But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God for they are foolishness unto him; neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
87th Q.-Is the above experience sufficient of itself to qualify for the work of the ministry?
A.-No, for though a man cannot be qualified without it, yet it is further requisite that he receive an immediate call from God to preach the gospel, being "inwardly moved by the Holy Spirit" to take upon himself the office; and in the performance of the various duties of the ministry committed to him, he must act under the same divine influence.