Scripture teaches us that prayer is essential for sanctification. In 1Thessalonians 5:16-17 Paul says simply, “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-17, ESV). He doesn’t elaborate. He doesn’t defend his exhortation. He just says it. I take it that, for Paul, it is self-evident that prayer is so basic to the Christian life that he doesn’t have to elaborate. In Heidelberg Catechism, Q/A 116, the Reformed churches confess that prayer is necessary for Christians
Because it is the chief part of thankfulness which God requires of us; and because God will give His grace and Holy Spirit only to those who earnestly and without ceasing beg them of Him, and render thanks unto Him for them.
The Presbyterian churches agree. Westminster Confession 14.1 says
The grace of faith, whereby the elect are enabled to believe to the saving of their souls, is the work of the Spirit of Christ in their hearts, and is ordinarily wrought by the ministry of the Word, by which also, and by the administration of the sacraments, and prayer, it is increased and strengthened.
Scripture teaches and the Reformed churches confess the centrality of prayer to the Christian life, but recognizing that truth, saying that truth, and grappling honestly with it are different things.
We found Charles Telfer, Assistant Professor of Biblical Languages at Westminster Seminary California, holding Office Hours for the episode. He’s a minister in the Orthodox Presbyterian Church, he’s been a missionary, he’s a Dad, and a husband.
Here is the episode.
Here are the episodes for Season Five: New Life in the Shadow of Death.
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