Catechism Unit Question Numbers: 291-293
“To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be praise and honor and glory and power, for ever and ever!” (Revelation 5:13) Every time we conclude the Lord’s Prayer with the Doxology, we are echoing those words in heaven that are offered up continually and joyfully by all the angels and the saints. What a privilege to join with the heavenly choir praising our glorious Father in heaven and our victorious Savior Jesus Christ!
Why can we be confident that our Father in heaven will hear and answer our petitions? In addition to the passages listed in the Catechism, a number of other passages come to mind. Romans 5:8 states, “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” The most important petition of all that we should have said to God, is the very one that we were completely incapable of saying and vehemently opposed to: ‘Lord, save us from our sins!’ Our sinful condition kept us from asking this of God, and yet in love so amazing and so divine, God chose to answer this petition that we hadn’t even asked of him, and by his grace the Holy Spirit worked faith in our hearts to believe this. If God perfectly answered the most crucial petition that we didn’t even ask of him, we can be absolutely sure that he will hear and answer all the petitions that we do ask of him out of faith in Jesus’ name.
After Jesus had taught his disciples the Lord’s Prayer, he continued to impress upon them the assurance we have when we approach our Father in heaven in prayer. Jesus said in Luke 11:11,12, “Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” These words of Jesus highlight how different God is from all other “gods”. Notice that he doesn’t say that God will give the Holy Spirit to those who are somehow worthy enough, or to those who have truly earned it, or only when he deigns to listen to our requests. Rather, he freely gives the Holy Spirit to those who simply ask! These words of Jesus also serve as a wonderful reassurance for any of us who have prayed and prayed for something in this earthly life, only to find out that God’s answer was ‘No’. Maybe you’ve prayed that you wouldn’t have to sit next to a certain classmate in school who picks on you. Maybe you’ve prayed that you might get that dream job. Maybe you’ve prayed that you might find that special someone soon. Maybe you’ve prayed for the health and life of a loved one. When God’s answer is ‘No’, we can find comfort in Jesus’ promise that God is not giving us snakes and scorpions; rather, he is always working all things for the eternal good of all believers.
“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine…” (Ephesians 3:20) If you had never read the Bible or heard the good news from anyone, could you ever have imagined on your own that the Holy and Almighty God could love wretched sinners like you and me? Could you ever have imagined that he would give us his one and only Son, who would love us so much that he would willingly suffer the torments of hell and the cruel death that we deserved? Could you ever have imagined that he would then give us his Holy Spirit, to work and strengthen faith in our hearts to believe in him and take hold of the free gift of everlasting life with him in heaven? How great is God’s love for us! All praise and honor and glory and power belongs to Him for ever and ever, Amen!