Monday, August 10, 2009

A More Certain Way of Praying

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 34-35 - Lord's Prayer - Introduction
34. God graciously teaches us what to pray for: what He wants, and what He wants to give us, since our greed often leads us astray in asking - Rom 8:26.

35. There are 6 petitions, the 1st 3 regard God's glory, and the last 3 regard our needs. The two sets of 3 are related. We seek God's glory above our own lives, as Moses and Paul did - Ex 32:32; Rom 9:3.

Sections 36-40 - Lord's Prayer - "Our Father in heaven"
36. God invites us to Him as His children - John 1:12; 1 John 3:1; Ps 27:10; Isa 63:16; Matt 7:11; Isa 49:15. If we don't seek help from Him, we proclaim Him an inadequate Father!

37. Luke 15:11-32 teaches us to expect compassion from our heavenly Father, "provided we still cast ourselves upon His mercy." Christ and the Spirit assure us of this favor - Gal 4:6; Rom 8:15.

38. He is OUR Father, and our love for Him should encompass His whole household - Matt 23:9; Eph 1:23; Gal 6:10.

39. We pray for others, as we give to them, as we know the need. But our prayers can extend farther. 1 Tim 2:8. "Strife shuts the gate to prayers."

40. God is in heaven, not bound there (1 Kings 8:27; Isa 66:!), but "beyond all place", incorruptible, and in sovereign command of the universe.

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