Saturday, January 07, 2012

Calvin on Prayer

For devotional reading, I’ve started working my way through John Calvin’s section on prayer in the Institutes (Book III; chapter xx). Strange how some could accuse Calvin’s doctrine of being cold, clinical, or sterile, when he writes so warmly about prayer and piety. Some quotes (all from the Battles translation):

“…we clearly see how destitute and devoid of all good things man is, and how he lacks all aid to salvation. Therefore, if he seeks resources to succor him in his need, he must go outside himself and get them elsewhere” (p. 850).

“Words fail to explain how necessary prayer is, and in how many ways the exercise of prayer is profitable” (p. 851).

“….our most merciful Father, although he never sleeps or idles, still very often gives the impression of one sleeping or idling in order that he may thus train us, otherwise idle and lazy, to seek, to ask, and entreat him to our great good” (p. 853).

“The eyes of God are therefore watchful to assist the blind in their necessity, but he is willing in turn to hear our groanings that he may the better prove his love toward us” (p. 853).

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