Q38: What Is Prayer?

New City Catechism: Question 38


Christians practice catechesis to instruct believers on the foundational truths of the Christian faith. In a question and answer format, this form of discipleship teaches the Apostle’s Creed, the Ten Commandments, the Lord’s Prayer, along with the basics of the Bible. The New City Catechism, created by Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City, asks 52 questions, one for each week of the year, on topics such as God, creation, and salvation. Each video provides an extended answer to the question from either a pastor at Redeemer or council members of the Gospel Coalition. This video with John Piper, the Founder and Teacher of desiringGod.org, answers the question, "What is prayer?”


Psalm 62:8 (ESV)

8 Trust in him at all times, O people;

pour out your heart before him;

God is a refuge for us. Selah

Scripture quotations marked (ESV) are 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.



We can respond to question thirty-eight with the following answer: prayer is pouring out our hearts to God in praise, petition, confession of sin, and thanksgiving.


John said prayer is the breath of the Christian life—it’s the way we talk to God. What stands out to you the most about this answer? Why?
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We can continue in prayer each day in every moment. We pray through praising God, petitioning Him, confessing sin, and thanking Him. 


Does the answer to this question impact your Christian walk? If so, how and why?
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Read through Psalm 62:8. Take a moment to reflect on prayer. Use the space below to respond. You can write out a prayer, list the implications of prayer, or brainstorm ways you can apply the principle to your life.
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The Catechism can help you remember the core beliefs of Christianity. Take time this week to learn the answer to this question and memorize Psalm 62:8. Allow God to transform your heart, mind, and actions through prayer.



 To learn more about New City Catechism or to download the app, click here