|John Calvin calls prayer the chief exercise of faith by which we daily receive God's benefits. He writes extensively on it in The Way We Receieve the Grace of Christ. And he does so with great warmth and gentle direction and correction. He notes that by prayer we dig up the treasures that are pointed out by the Lord's gospel and which by faith we gaze upon. And then I'm struck by this, on why we pray: |
"...That our hearts may be fired with a zealous and burning desire ever to seek, love and serve him, while we become accustomed in every need to flee to him as to a sacred anchor..." XX.III.3.
I love this because it gives me great motive to pray. I can sort of see how it would work - though I'm on the hunt for scriptural promises that say as much.
What amazing grace that forgives even my failing in prayer and invites me to come again to pray.
"...Just as faith is born from the gospel, so though it our hearts are trained to call upon God's name (Romans 10:14-17)..." XX.III.1.
Many people seem not to be too keen on Calvin/Calvinism. I guess this is because of a perceived problem with his emphasis on how big God is. Many haven't read the Institutes. Some of that is because it's old. Some because it's big. Some because it's called The Institutes of Christian Religion. What I'm discovering is that these books aren't that big and they are very accessible and warm. I'm loving Book III: The Way we recieve the grace of Christ. Whether you accept his teaching on election or not, what he has to say about Union with Christ and Prayer is priceless - and all of that is laid out before he enters the "sacred precincts of God" (election).