John Calvin on Prayer

I was recently given a book on prayer at The Gospel Coalition Conference, which is entitled Taking Hold of God: Reformed and Puritan Perspectives on Prayer. The book surveys many of the Reformers and Puritans ideas on prayer. Calvin’s idea of prayer was particularly notable and worth sharing.

Joel Beeke provides us with Calvin’s words:

Prayer is an emotion of the heart within, which is poured out and laid open before God. In prayer we both communicate and commune with our Father in heaven, feeling our transparency in His presence. Like Christ in Gethsemane, we cast our desires, sighs, anxieties, fears, hopes, and joys into the lap of God.

Through prayer, a Christian puts his worries bit by bit on God. We are permitted to pour into God’s bosom the difficulties which torment us, in order that He may loosen the knots which we cannot untie. Prayer is the outpouring of the soul, the deepest root of piety, the bedrock of assurance. Prayer is the most important part of the Christian life; it is the lifeblood of every true believer [1].

I believe Calvin’s words should not go unheeded. Prayer is indeed the lifeblood of every true believer. Christ’s sacrifice on the cross opened the throne room of God, and we should run into it seeking to commune with God (Heb 10:19-23).

Charge

Do not neglect your communion with God. Seek His face daily in prayer. Pour out your heart to Him, casting all your desires, sighs, anxieties, fears, hopes, joys into the lap of God.

Resources

1. Joel Beeke and Brian Najapfour, Taking Hold of God: Reformed and Puritan Perspectives on Prayer, 29.

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