This post comprises a confession of the Remonstrants, the followers of Arminius, and was penned by Simon Episcopius, Arminius' successor and friend. The lack of Confessions and Creeds from Arminians historically was intentional on their part (see "Arminius on Creeds and Confessions" below). What they did produce will be recorded on this site.
What follows is taken from the Princeton Theological Monograph Series, The Arminian Confession of 1621, translated and edited by Mark A. Ellis, complete with Scripture proofs, regarding prayer and what is known as the Lord's Prayer. This brief commentary is one of my favorite confessions of the Remonstrants, and, upon proofing it again, I was reminded to what degree these truths bless me every time I read them.
ON PRAYER AND THANKSGIVING, AND ESPECIALLY THE LORD'S PRAYER
1. But because the whole life of believers . . . and especially their obedience of faith which they constantly render to Jesus Christ, is daily exposed to various dangers, temptations and assaults of Satan, the flesh, and the world, and liable to not a few necessities, Jesus Christ has willed (Matt. 7:7; 26:4; Luke 18:1) -- lest in such difficult conflict they should faint or despair -- that each and every believer should appeal to His perpetual grace and power, in His name alone (John 14:13; 16:23), with untiringly and undivided [faith] (Matt. 11:24; James 1:5-6), and that always and without ceasing (Rom. 12:12; 1 Thess. 5:17), especially in grave temptations and adversities.
And they should continually give thanks for the benefits received (Ps. 102; 103; 104; Phil. 4:6; Col. 3:17; 4:2; 1 Tim. 2:1), testifying in this manner that they owe to God, as the greatest and first author, their whole happiness, and that by His aid alone and free benefit, they are able to perform, indeed really do perform, whatever are necessary to be done or performed for obtaining it. From this appear the two principal parts or kinds of divine worship. First, prayer, strictly and properly called, or the imploring of divine power for good consequences or the averting of evil ones, then thanksgiving for benefits received and celebration of the divine name.
2. God commends both parts or kinds to us everywhere in His Word (Ps. 50:14-15; 91:14-15; 145:18-19), but especially Jesus Christ in the New Testament, while anywhere, whether in public or private, as the matter or occasion offers, He commands both be exercised in spirit and truth. And indeed what touches prayer or invocation, Jesus Christ has not just commanded it in words (Matt. 7:7; Luke 11:9), but also has commended it by His own example (Matt. 14:13; 16:39; Luke 21:41).
And so He also has prescribed the manner and correct form of exercising it (Matt. 6:9; Luke 18:2), according to which our petitions (whether they be uttered for ourselves or for others) ought to be perpetually conformed as to infallible and indubitable rules, if done in a manner according to the will of God (1 John 3:22; 5:14) -- exactly as accompanied with a due disposition of those who pray, according to both our inward and outer man . . . with true repentance for sins formerly committed (Ps. 32:2; 51; 1 John 1:5), firm trust (Eph. 1:18; 2:12; Heb. 4:16; 10:22) in the grace of God acquired by Christ (1 Pet. 3:12; 1 John 3:21-22), a sincere zeal for holiness and especially for brotherly love (Matt. 5:23-24; 6:14; Mark 11:25); likewise, serious attention (Luke 18:1, 10), devout submission (Luke 18:1; Rom. 12:12; 1 Thess. 5:17), and finally, with an untiring attention in prayer -- shall most certainly be clearly heard by God.
THE LORD'S PRAYER
3. This formula of prayer is called the Lord's Prayer from its author, our Lord Jesus Christ. It has three principle parts: the preface, the narration, and the conclusion, although the latter is completely lacking in Luke (Matt. 6:9; Luke 11:2-4), although this by itself does not pertain to the substance of it.
OUR FATHER, WHO ART IN HEAVEN, HALLOWED BE THY NAME
4. In the preface is taught who ought to be perpetually invoked by us and with what heart and manner, namely, "our Heavenly Father," or "who is in heaven," that is, to whom we are compelled to speak with a humble yet son-like affection, who is obviously not only by nature most high and powerful or the greatest good -- and now not dwelling as in the past, in the tabernacle of Moses (Ex. 40:34) or in the temple of Solomon beneath the cherubim (1 Kings 8:12), but gloriously dwelling only in the highest heavens themselves (Acts 7:43, 49), in the truest seat of eternity and immortality, and almost a citadel (James 1:17), from where all good things flow to us -- but who presents Himself as merciful and kind to all (1 Tim. 2:4; 4:10), and really has fatherly affections toward all His believing ones (Job 14:13; Ps. 103: 1-2; Rom. 8:15), as those whom He always graciously loves in Christ.
For thus they all and only were written down for sons and heirs of His celestial glory and immortality (Gal. 4:6; Rom. 8:17). Thus He easily can and freely wills to grant us everything necessary for salvation (Luke 11:10; James 1:5). Therefore, in return, we safely can and ought to trust in Him with highest reverence and brotherly affection (Rom. 12:10; 2 Pet. 1:7), and that indeed as we have been joined together as one by the chain of brotherly love by the same Jesus Christ (Eph. 2:18; 3:11), our only patron and mediator.
5. The narration contains six petitions, of which the three former immediately and properly consider the glory of God (John 14:13; 1 Cor. 10:31; Col. 3:17; 1 Pet. 4:11), and the three following greatly consider our advantage and salvation. Although both aim at the same mark by mutual relation and certain consequence, since the glory of God cannot be disjoined from salvation (Ps. 50:14-15; 34:16; 91), and the latter ought totally be referred to the former.
6. And so in the first petition we are commanded to pray, that "the name of God may be sanctified," that is, that the glory of the divine goodness, wisdom and power (Ps. 96; 97; 99; Isa. 6:3; 42:8; 48:11; Ezek. 20:41; 28:21), especially as revealed in the gospel, might every where be correctly rightly known and worthily celebrated, and therefore that God would assist us and others with His aid by which both they and all other mortals (Rom. 10:6, 9; Eph. 3:10; 5:19-20; Col. 3:16-17; 2 Thess. 1:11-12; Rev. 4:8-9; 9:12-13), incited by our example and encouragement, abandon all idols or profane deities and goddesses, and above all, that as if with one mouth, we may praise and extol the one true God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, in words, deeds, hymns, prayers, writings, constantly singing with heart and voice, "Holy, Holy, Holy is the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ; to Him be praise, honor and blessing forever and ever, Amen."
THY KINGDOM COME
7. The second petition is that "the kingdom may come," that is, that through a true and full knowledge of the Christian religion (Matt. 1:2; John 1:17-18; 3:16-17; Col. 1:6), which as yet was then tenuous and sparing and coming from afar, more and more would direct our hearts to a solid sanctifying of His divine name, and that He would be willing to grant to many others His grace by which they may deliver themselves to be ruled by Him (Ps. 122:1; Isa. 2:3; Micah 4:1), or voluntarily subject themselves to His laws and commandments, so that more and more each day we may be both fit and suitable for the kingdom of heaven (1 Cor. 15:24), most fully possessed by blessed immortality.
THY WILL BE DONE, ON EARTH AS IT IS IN HEAVEN
8. The third is that "the will of God be done in earth as in heaven," that is, that God would grant His grace to us and to other mortals (Phil. 2:13-14; 1 Thess. 5:23-24; 2 Thess. 1:11), that we might every one do His will, now already expressed in His commandments, as promptly and cheerfully as the holy angels in heaven are accustomed to perform it (Daniel 7:10; Matt. 18:10; Heb. 1:14). Then, that we may patiently bear those evils that come to us which God either allows, suffers, wills, or arranges (Heb. 10:36; 12:7; 1 Pet. 3:17; 4:12), and without any murmuring we turn them to our spiritual advantage or proficiency in faith and obedience, and further on to our salvation.
GIVE US THIS DAY OUR DAILY BREAD
9. The fourth is that "He would give us this day our daily bread," that is, that He would deign to grant us all things which are necessary for us to pass this life without any true [lack] or weakness of body (Matt. 5:25, 31; Phil. 4:11-13; 1 Tim. 6:8), and to the contrary, that it be passed in peace and tranquility, and to attend upon, and (with a serious cheerfulness of mind and spirits) diligently to apply ourselves, and to mind those things that are most sacred and holy. And those things which He has already given and kindly conveyed, He would always bless further, that being sustained by their support as by a staff (Lev. 26:26), we may be better occupied with sanctifying His divine name (Luke 10:41-42), propagating His kingdom and executing His will, and without any distraction from godliness.
FORGIVE US OUR TRESPASSES, AS WE FORGIVE THOSE WHO TRESPASS AGAINST US
10. The fifth is that "He would forgive us our debts, as we also forgive our debtors," that is, that in Christ He would graciously pardon us all our sins (Matt. 6:14-15; 18:21, 35; Luke 7:47; 18:13; Rom. 4:7), committed either through error or infirmity, or principally through wickedness and malice, just as we also pardon from the heart and are always ready to pardon all injuries and offenses (Col. 3:12-13; 1 Pet. 4:8; 1 John 1:7, 9; 2:7, 9) -- and that for this reason alone, because He so wills and commands it -- all those who at any time wound us.
AND LEAD US NOT INTO TEMPTATION, BUT DELIVER US FROM EVIL
11. The sixth is that "He would not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil," that is, that He would never permit us to be oppressed too much by grave and lasting temptations (Mark 6:41; 2 Pet. 2:9; Rev. 3:10), much less defeated, or to be tested beyond our strength (1 Cor. 10:13), but that He would always strengthen and sustain us by His Holy Spirit (Rom. 5:2; Eph. 3:16-18; 6:11; 1 Thess. 3:2; Heb. 13:20-21; 1 Pet. 5:10) according to His singular power and also fatherly love, especially in grave afflictions, arduous dangers and calamities, and other evils of that kind, through which Satan tries to utterly destroy us, and turn us from God, lest perhaps being too pressed by them, we choose something contrary to His divine will and harmful to our salvation or a good conscience.
And finally, that always together with the temptation He would will to grant a happy outcome (1 Cor. 10:13; 1 Pet. 5:8-10; 1 John 5:18), that we would be able to suffer it and so finally be gloriously freed from all the snares and enticements and all the fraud and power of Satan, indeed that we may be rendered immune from all danger of eternal perdition.
FOR THINE IS THE KINGDOM, AND THE POWER, AND THE GLORY FOREVER
12. The conclusion has a threefold foundation or reason why we should dare to ask or pray to God about those things which we have already spoken. Because indeed His is the kingdom, that is, because He only is absolute king and Lord of all (Ps. 145:11-13; 146:10; 2 Pet. 3:4; Rev. 12:10), and liable to no one, and who has command and right in all, and therefore even over Satan himself, although god and prince of this world.
Likewise, because His is the power (Ps. 115:3; Mark 14:36; Rev. 12:7-8), that is, because He alone is able to do (namely, give, take away, send, avert, permit or impede) whatever He wills, and that according to His own will and good pleasure, and therefore is He one against whom Satan, with the entire world, cannot prevail in order to destroy us. And finally, because "His is the glory," that is, because He is the only one to whom we ought to ascribe whatever good we either wish and desire (1 Cor. 6:20; 10:30-31; Col. 3:17; 1 Pet. 4:11; Rev. 10:5-6) or already have and possess and to whose alone glory, as to its final purpose, our whole good is always to overflow.
13. But because pious worshipers of God are certainly persuaded of the hearing of their prayers which they pour out according to the will of God (Ps. 89:52; 1 Cor. 14:16; 1 John 3:22; 5:14-15), and because they wish and very much desire that the everlasting glory of the divine name and their own salvation may be promoted more and more by the same, for this [purpose] is subjoined the word "Amen," which in part contains a certain affirmation of the things proposed and in part a pious wish and religious vow of the believing soul.
14. The other part or kind of prayer widely accepted is thanksgiving (Eph. 5:10; Phil. 4:6; 1 Thess. 5:15, 18; 2 Thess. 1:3; 2:13; 1 Tim. 2:1), by which we give thanks to God for benefits already received through Jesus Christ, whether pertaining to this or the future life, and whether in public or private, especially in His church. And we testify and declare a thankful and mindful soul (Ps. 116:1; 2 Cor. 9:11; 11; Col. 1:12-13; 3:16-17), first by a singular zeal and exercise of holiness, then by praises, psalms, hymns, love and other godly deeds, doing our duty to the glory of God and the advantage of our neighbor, in quality and quantity, first of our own abilities and then of the benefits received.
The Arminian Confession of 1621, trans. and ed. Mark A. Ellis (Eugene, OR: Pickwick Publications, 2005), 96-101.