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

4. Prayer is to be made for things lawful;1 and for all sorts of men living, or that shall live hereafter:2 but not for the dead,3 nor for those of whom it may be known that they have sinned the sin unto death.4

  1. 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)

  2. 1 Timothy 2:1-2

    2:1 First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way.

    John 17:20

    “I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word,

    2 Samuel 7:29

    Now therefore may it please you to bless the house of your servant, so that it may continue forever before you. For you, O Lord God, have spoken, and with your blessing shall the house of your servant be blessed forever.”

    Ruth 4:12

    and may your house be like the house of Perez, whom Tamar bore to Judah, because of the offspring that the Lord will give you by this young woman.” (ESV)

  3. 2 Samuel 12:21-23

    Then his servants said to him, “What is this thing that you have done? You fasted and wept for the child while he was alive; but when the child died, you arose and ate food.” He said, “While the child was still alive, I fasted and wept, for I said, ‘Who knows whether the Lord will be gracious to me, that the child may live?’ But now he is dead. Why should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he will not return to me.”

    Luke 16:25-26

    But Abraham said, ‘Child, remember that you in your lifetime received your good things, and Lazarus in like manner bad things; but now he is comforted here, and you are in anguish. And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been fixed, in order that those who would pass from here to you may not be able, and none may cross from there to us.’

    Revelation 14:13

    And I heard a voice from heaven saying, “Write this: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.” “Blessed indeed,” says the Spirit, “that they may rest from their labors, for their deeds follow them!” (ESV)

  4. 1 John 5:16

    If anyone sees his brother committing a sin not leading to death, he shall ask, and God will give him life—to those who commit sins that do not lead to death. There is sin that leads to death; I do not say that one should pray for that. (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.