Twelve petitions that God hears

Five petitions more than in the Lord’s Prayer and a promise that God will hear these petitions … Chief Apostle Schneider talks about day-to-day, worthwhile wishes of the believers.

The Chief Apostle based his sermon on Luke 11: 13: “If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!”

You could say: “We no longer need to pray for the Holy Spirit. He was sent to earth, and we also received the gifts of the Holy Spirit through Holy Sealing.” So what should we pray for? This was the question asked by Chief Apostle Schneider at the beginning of the divine service. As a response he gave twelve very concrete suggestions.

Three petitions for comfort:

The petition for comfort in affliction and distress. The Holy Spirit comforts, the Chief Apostle said, by reminding us of Jesus’ words. The Chief Apostle said, “Don’t worry. Jesus Christ overcame the world. Jesus Christ is and will remain the victor! He is the strongest!”

The petition for comfort in weaknesses and imperfections. The Holy Spirit comforts by making known what is said about us at the throne of God: “Listen, I’ve heard that they are talking about you in heaven. I heard there that Jesus is your advocate. He does not accuse you, He defends you.”

The petition to persevere. The Holy Spirit bears witness that the believers are children of God. “You know your future. You know what to expect. Your future is eternal life in the kingdom of God. The Lord’s return is imminent!”

Three petitions for truth:

The petition to be able to distinguish truth from falsehood. The Chief Apostle said that it is good if we pray: “God, Holy Spirit, teach me what is truth and what is a lie.” The Holy Spirit will remind us that Jesus Christ is our role model, our example. “The truth is the doctrine of Jesus Christ. Everything that is compatible with it is fine.”

The petition to be taught how we can find favour with God. “The Holy Spirit reminds us of the doctrine of Jesus.” Jesus always pointed out that it is not enough to simply keep the law and the commandments. “Let us not rely on our works. What is important is our heart’s attitude.”

The petition to hear the truth about our neighbour. Many things we hear about our neighbour make us unsure. “Let us ask the Holy Spirit to tell us the truth. And then the Holy Spirit will tell us what He has heard about our neighbour at the throne of God: ‘You know, that is a soul which God wants to save, and He is working on leading this soul to Him.”

Three petitions for renewal:

The petition for a life in the Lord. We might be very worried about a particular situation, a test we may be going through. Maybe we are being attacked or are experiencing injustice. “How should I react so that I can still be a true witness of Jesus Christ? Brothers and sisters, we receive this answer from the Holy Spirit.”

The petition for freedom in the Spirit. “The Holy Spirit makes us free so that we can love others. Our love is boundless. We can love our neighbour unconditionally. Even if everybody else accuses him, even if everybody else dumps him or pushes him away, our love is boundless.”

The petition to edify and build up the congregation. “Whoever has received new life out of the Holy Spirit will aspire to edify and build up the congregation. So our petition is essentially that we ask God: ‘Give me the gifts out of the Holy Spirit so that I can help along in building up the congregation of the Lord.’”

Three petitions for the divine service:

The petition for sanctification before a divine service. “When you come to church unprepared, you will hear all kinds of things. Whether you will really be able to take in the substance of God’s word remains to be seen. A certain amount of sanctification is essential. Before a divine service let us pray: ‘Sanctify me so that I may absorb Your word as well as the substance of God’s word in faith!’”

The petition for a conscious experience of Holy Communion. “This requires an inner preparation, a prayer: ‘Dear God, I want to experience Holy Communion very consciously today. I would like to experience the presence of Jesus Christ in a special manner. I really want to take the strength which you have laid into Holy Communion for myself.’”

The petition to bless the serving ministers. “Last but not least, let us also pray for the brothers who stand at the altar: ‘Sanctify them and give them thoughts out of the Holy Spirit.’”

Chief Apostle Schneider assures: “God hears the prayers of those who ask the Spirit to comfort them, to guide them into all truth, to renew their nature, and to sanctify them for the divine service.”

Photo: StockPhotosArt -

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Oliver Rütten
Divine service, Germany