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Westminster Shorter Catechism Project

A Scripture Catechism
in the
Method of the Assembly's

by Matthew Henry

Q. 104. What do we pray for in the fourth petition?
A. In the fourth petition, which is, Give us this day our daily bread, we pray, that of God's free gift we may receive a competent portion of the good things of this life, and enjoy his blessing with them.

1. Are we to pray for the good things of this life? Yes: for the Lord is for the body, 1 Cor. 6:13. Must we go to God for them? Yes: for he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things, Acts 17:25. Must we go to him for the comfort of them? Yes: for he gives us richly all things to enjoy, 1 Tim. 6:17. Do we deserve the good things of this life? No: we are less than the least of all God's mercies, Gen. 32:10. Must we therefore beg them of God as a free gift? Yes: God gives the dew of heaven, Gen. 27: 28.

2. Are we to pray for riches? No: lest we be full, and say who is the Lord? Prov. 30:9. Are we to pray for dainties? No: Be not desirous of dainties, for they are deceitful meat, Prov. 23:3. Are we to be content with such a competent portion of these things as God sees fit for us? Yes: Having food and raiment, let us be therewith content, 1 Tim. 6:8. Are we to pray for that? Yes: Feed me with food convenient for me, Prov. 30:8. And need we desire any more? No: If God will be with me, and keep me in the way that I go, and will give me bread to eat, and raiment to put on, so that I come to my heavenly Father's house in peace, then the Lord shall be my God, Gen. 28:20, 21.

3. Are we to pray each day for the bread of the day? Yes: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself, Matt 6:34. And must we pray for our bread honestly gotten? Yes: for with quietness we must work, and eat our own bread, 2 Thess. 3:12. And have we encouragement to pray for this? Yes: for godliness hath the promise of the life that now is, 1 Tim. 4:8.

4. Do we herein pray for health? Yes: for God is our life, and the length of our days, Deut. 30:20. And for success in our callings? Yes: Establish thou the work of our hands upon us, Ps. 90:17. And for sleep? Yes: for so he giveth his beloved sleep, Ps. 127:2. And for seasonable weather? Yes: Ask ye of the Lord rain, Zech. 10:1.

5. Must we pray for God's blessing on what we have? Yes: for man liveth not by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God, Matt. 4:4. And is it then comfortable to us? Yes: for it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer, 1 Tim. 4:5. Must we pray most earnestly for bread for our souls? Yes: Lord, evermore give us that bread, John 6:34. Are we to pray for others' prosperity, as well as for our own? Yes: I wish that thou mayest prosper, and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth, 3 John 2. And for the supply of the poor and needy? Yes: that he will abundantly bless our provision, and satisfy our poor with bread, Ps. 132:15.

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