New City Catechism Week 39 Resources

Week 39 Question:

With what attitude should we pray?

Week 39 Answer:

With love, perseverance, and gratefulness; in humble submission to God’s will, knowing that, for the sake of Christ, he always hears our prayers.

Week 39 Verse:

Philippians 4:6


Before you enter into prayer, ask thy soul these questions: To what end, O my soul, art thou retired into this place? Art thou not come to discourse the Lord in prayer? Is he present; will he hear thee? Is he merciful; will he help thee? Is thy business slight; is it not concerning the welfare of thy soul? What words wilt thou use to move him to compassion? To make thy preparation complete, consider that thou art but dust and ashes, and he the great God, Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, that clothes himself with light as with a garment; that thou art a vile sinner, he a holy God; that thou art but a poor crawling worm, he the omnipotent Creator. In all your prayers forget not to thank the Lord for his mercies. When thou prayest, rather let thy hearts be without words, than thy words without a heart. Prayer will make a man cease from sin, or sin will entice a man to cease from prayer.

John Bunyan (1628–1688). Known as the tinker of Elstow, Bunyan underwent a dramatic conversion experience and became a leading Puritan preacher. As his popularity grew, Bunyan increasingly became a target for slander and libel and was eventually imprisoned. It was during his time in prison that he commenced his best known work The Pilgrim’s Progress, first printed in 1678.

From “Mr. John Bunyan’s Dying Saying: Of Prayer” in The Works of That Eminent Servant of Christ John Bunyan, Volume 1 (Philadelphia: John Ball, 1850), 47.

Video Commentary

NCC Q39: With what attitude should we pray? from The Gospel Coalition on Vimeo.


Supporting Scriptures

1 John 5:14; Matthew 6:9-13


The prayer preceding all prayers is "May it be the real I who speaks. May it be the real Thou that I speak to."

C. S. Lewis (1898–1963). A fellow in English literature at Oxford University as well as chair of English at Cambridge University, Lewis wrote literary criticism, children's literature, fantasy literature, as well as theology. His most well known works are Mere Christianity, The Screwtape Letters, andThe Chronicles of Narnia. A member of the Church of England, his conversion to Christianity was influenced by his Oxford colleague and friend J.R.R. Tolkien.

From Letters to Malcolm: Chiefly on Prayer (Orlando: Harcourt, 1964), 82.