Monday, January 03, 2011

Calvin on Prayer

Since my word for the year is PRAYER, I thought it would be fitting to start off the year with a quote from John Calvin on the subject. I found this in The Piety of John Calvin: A Collection of His Spiritual Prose, Poems, and Hymns by Ford Lewis Battles, but the quote originally came from Calvin's Institutes of the Christian Religion.

Prayer has two parts:
Petition and thanksgiving.
Petitioning, we lay before God
The desires of our hearts,
Thus seeking from His goodness
What serves His glory,
And then what is useful to us.
In giving thanks, we own
His benefits to us,
With praise confess them,
To His goodness alone
Attribute all our blessings.

I absolutely LOVE the way Calvin describes petitioning here. He says that by our petitions, "we lay before God the desires of our hearts." (MY TRANSLATION: We tell Him what we want.)

"Thus seeking from His goodness" (Because it's only by His goodness that we are given anything in the first place and He alone knows what is best for us.)

"What serves His glory" (Because that's our whole purpose for living and should be our motivation for asking anything of Him anyway.)

"And then what is useful to us" (Seeking our personal desires should be secondary to seeking His glory.)


Kay said...

And aren't we blessed that He does not give us what we ask for sometimes? I am thankful that He protects me from myself.

Jennifer said...

Amen, Kay!

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