Monday, July 27, 2009

Don't vegetate in carelessness

Calvin's Institutes (1559)
Book 3 of 4 - How We Receive the Grace of Christ

Chapter 20 - Prayer as exercise of faith and way we receive God's benefits
Sections 4-16 - Rules of prayer
Sections 4-5 - Reverence
4. Have your mind in a fit frame for conversation with God. No carnal thoughts, though anxieties naturally creep in from time to time. Ps 130:1. Use the Psalms as a model. The mind by itself wanders.
5. Levity and frivolity, "devoid of awe," are contrary to reverence. Raising hands in prayer shows that we are far from God unless we lift our thoughts to Him - Ps 25:1; Isa 37:4. We should not ask for things beyond what He promises - 1 John 5:14. The Spirit helps us to pray - Rom 8:26. We are not to "vegetate in carelessness," but to ward off "inertia and dullness." 1 Cor 14:15.

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