Read the Westminster Standards in a year.
Confession of Faith
Chapter 21: Of Religious Worship, and the Sabbath Day

3. Prayer, with thanksgiving, being one special part of religious worship,1 is by God required of all men:2 and, that it may be accepted, it is to be made in the name of the Son,3 by the help of his Spirit,4 according to his will,5 with understanding, reverence, humility, fervency, faith, love, and perseverance;6 and, if vocal, in a known tongue.7

  1. Philippians 4:6

    do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. (ESV)

  2. Psalm 65:6

    the one who by his strength established the mountains,
    being girded with might; (ESV)

  3. John 14:13-14

    Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it.

    1 Peter 2:5

    you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. (ESV)

  4. Romans 8:26

    Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. (ESV)

  5. 1 John 5:14

    And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. (ESV)

  6. Psalm 47:7

    For God is the King of all the earth;
    sing praises with a psalm!

    Ecclesiastes 5:1-2

    5:1  Guard your steps when you go to the house of God. To draw near to listen is better than to offer the sacrifice of fools, for they do not know that they are doing evil. Be not rash with your mouth, nor let your heart be hasty to utter a word before God, for God is in heaven and you are on earth. Therefore let your words be few.

    Hebrews 12:28

    Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe,

    Genesis 17:27

    And all the men of his house, those born in the house and those bought with money from a foreigner, were circumcised with him.

    James 5:16

    Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.

    James 1:6-7

    But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord;

    Mark 11:24

    Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.

    Matthew 6:12

    and forgive us our debts,
    as we also have forgiven our debtors.

    Matthew 6:14-15

    For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

    Colossians 4:2

    Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving.

    Ephesians 6:18

    praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, (ESV)

  7. 1 Corinthians 14:14

    For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays but my mind is unfruitful. (ESV)

Larger Catechism

𝒬 185. How are we to pray?

𝒜. We are to pray with an awful apprehension of the majesty of God,1 and deep sense of our own unworthiness,2 necessities,3 and sins;4 with penitent,5 thankful,6 and enlarged hearts;7 with understanding,8 faith,9 sincerity,10 fervency,11 love,12 and perseverance,13 waiting upon him,14 with humble submission to his will.15

  1. Psalm 33:8

    Let all the earth fear the Lord;
    let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him!

    Psalm 95:6

    Oh come, let us worship and bow down;
    let us kneel before the Lord, our Maker!

    Psalm 145:5

    On the glorious splendor of your majesty,
    and on your wondrous works, I will meditate. (ESV)

  2. Genesis 18:27

    Abraham answered and said, “Behold, I have undertaken to speak to the Lord, I who am but dust and ashes.

    Genesis 32:10

    I am not worthy of the least of all the deeds of steadfast love and all the faithfulness that you have shown to your servant, for with only my staff I crossed this Jordan, and now I have become two camps. (ESV)

  3. Luke 15:17-19

    “But when he came to himself, he said, ‘How many of my father's hired servants have more than enough bread, but I perish here with hunger! I will arise and go to my father, and I will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Treat me as one of your hired servants.”’ (ESV)

  4. Luke 18:13-14

    But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner!’ I tell you, this man went down to his house justified, rather than the other. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.” (ESV)

  5. Psalm 51:17

    The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit;
    a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise. (ESV)

  6. Philippians 4:6

    do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. (ESV)

  7. 1 Samuel 1:15

    But Hannah answered, “No, my lord, I am a woman troubled in spirit. I have drunk neither wine nor strong drink, but I have been pouring out my soul before the Lord.

    1 Samuel 2:1

    2:1 And Hannah prayed and said,

    “My heart exults in the Lord;
    my strength is exalted in the Lord.
    My mouth derides my enemies,
    because I rejoice in your salvation. (ESV)

  8. 1 Corinthians 14:15

    What am I to do? I will pray with my spirit, but I will pray with my mind also; I will sing praise with my spirit, but I will sing with my mind also. (ESV)

  9. Mark 11:24

    Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.

    James 1:6

    But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. (ESV)

  10. Psalm 145:18

    The Lord is near to all who call on him,
    to all who call on him in truth.

    Psalm 17:1

    17:1 Hear a just cause, O Lord; attend to my cry!
    Give ear to my prayer from lips free of deceit! (ESV)

  11. James 5:16

    Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working. (ESV)

  12. Psalm 116:1-2

    116:1 I love the Lord, because he has heard
    my voice and my pleas for mercy.
    Because he inclined his ear to me,
    therefore I will call on him as long as I live.

    Romans 15:30

    I appeal to you, brothers, by our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love of the Spirit, to strive together with me in your prayers to God on my behalf, (ESV)

  13. Ephesians 6:18

    praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, (ESV)

  14. Micah 7:7

    But as for me, I will look to the Lord;
    I will wait for the God of my salvation;
    my God will hear me. (ESV)

  15. Matthew 26:39

    And going a little farther he fell on his face and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.” (ESV)


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Based on Calendar of Readings in the Westminster Standards by Dr. Joey Pipa. Scripture taken from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. Copyright ©2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.