“…it is very important for us to call upon him: First, that our hearts may be fired with a zealous and burning desire ever to seek, love and serve him, while we become accustomed in every need to flee to him as to a sacred anchor. Secondly, that there may enter our hearts no desire and no wish at all of which we should be ashamed to make him a witness, while we learn to set all our wishes before his eyes, and even to pour out our whole hearts. Thirdly, that we be prepared to receive his benefits with true gratitude of heart and thanksgiving, benefits that our prayer reminds us come from his hand [cf. Ps. 145:15-16]. Fourthly, moreover, that, having obtained what we were seeking, and being convinced that he has answered our prayers, we should be led to meditation upon his kindness more ardently. And fifthly, that at the same time we embrace with greater delight those things which we acknowledge to have been obtained by prayers. Finally, that use and experience may, according to the measure of our feebleness, confirm his providence, while we understand not only that he promises never to fail us, and of his own will opens the way to call upon him at the very point of necessity, but also that he ever extends his hand to help his own, not wet-nursing them with words but defending them with present help.”
Taken from Institutes of the Christian Religion (Book Three, Chapter XX)
It is good to be reminded of the reasons to pray. My challenge is as the Nike add states; “Just Do It”.
For something so crucial, it’s funny how difficult it can be to have a deep and regular prayer life. We need to make time to commune with God, but also to chat and include Him within our daily lives… both the highs and the lows.
Reading this blog I am reminded of Philippians 2:12-13 “Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeys, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.”
What an incredible thought that God is working in Christians to “will and to work for His good pleasure”. My prayer is that I allow God to work and will within me, that I may know Him more and what He would have me do on a daily basis… and that would include more time praying to Him!
One thing that I’ve wondered (not an original thought) that if “God already knows what I’m going to ask” before I pray, why then the need still to pray!! Be interested in some insights on this from others.
I have always like to think of prayer as a means by which I draw closer to God. I have lost count of the number of times I have prayed ‘asking’ God for something only to have my whole attitude and approach to a situation changed to that which is a lot healthier spiritually. God is all knowing, but we are not, so it makes sense to chat with Him as much as possible so we can become more aligned with what He knows is best for our life and the lives of others… not to mention to know what glorifies Him more!
David, prayer is indeed a mystery. I can’t answer your question, but I know that even Jesus found it helpful, perhaps necessary to pray. One would think that it would be totally unnecessary for Him to pray, for after all, He is God. Yet repeatedly we find Him praying.
So I comfort myself with the thought that if Jesus prayed, then so must I.
Another thought; I think of God’s Word as God’s way of communicating with me and prayer as my way of communicating with God.
He prayed upon the mountain,
He prayed for you and me,
He prayed in humble dwellings,
He prayed beside the sea.
He prayed in early morning,
Prayed with all His might,
He prayed at noonday and at dusk,
He prayed all thro’ the night.
He prayed for those who scorned Him,
For those who killed Him, too,
He prayed, “Father forgive them:
They know not what they do.”
He prayed when He was lonely,
He prayed when He was sad,
He prayed when He was weary,
He prayed when He was glad.
He prayed for those in sorrow,
He prayed for those in sin,
He prayed for those in trouble
That they might come to Him
Thanks, I’d never seen Calvin’s reasons to pray. I blogged it.
Don, where did the poem come from?
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