Saturday, July 25, 2009

Not so much for His own sake as for ours

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 1-3 - Intro - Nature and Value of Prayer
1. We cannot seek God's salvation in ourselves, but must go to Him in Christ. "True faith cannot be indifferent about calling upon God." See Rom 10:14-17; 8:15-16, 26.
2. If God promises us something in the Gospel, we should ask for it in prayer. Burdened with sin, we should find peace of conscience in prayer to God, asking for forgiveness of Him. Joel 2:32.
3. Why pray if God's will is fixed? God ordains prayer "not so much for His own sake as for ours." To fire our hearts with zeal, to have Him bear witness to our heart's desires, to train ourselves to receive His gifts with gratitude (ps 145:15-16), to consider His kindness when He answers prayer, to take more delight in what He gives through answered prayer, to "confirm His providence" through tangible provision for us. He is ready to hear and answer us - Ps 145:18; 1 Pet 3:12; Ps 34:15; 121:4.

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