by John Calvin
HT: Chapel Library
From the previous part of the work, we clearly see how completely destitute man is of all good and how devoid of every means of procuring his own salvation. Hence, if he would obtain succor in his necessity, he must go beyond himself and procure it in some other quarter. It has farther been shown that the Lord kindly and spontaneously manifests Himself in Christ, in whom He offers all happiness for our misery, all abundance for our want, opening up the treasures of heaven to us, so that we may turn with full faith to His beloved Son, depend upon Him with full expectation, rest in Him, and cleave to Him with full hope. This, indeed, is that secret and hidden philosophy that cannot be learned by syllogisms: a philosophy thor-oughly understood by those whose eyes God has so opened as to see light in His light (Psa 36:9).
But after we have learned by faith to know that whatever is necessary for us or defective in us is supplied in God and in our Lord Jesus Christ, in Whom it hath pleased the Father that all fullness should dwell (Col 1:19; John 1:16), that we may thence draw as from an inexhaustible fountain, it remains for us to seek and in prayer implore of Him what we have learned to be in Him. To know God as the sovereign disposer of all good, inviting us to present our requests, and yet not to approach or ask of Him, were so far from availing us, that it were just as if one told of a treasure were to allow it to remain buried in the ground. Hence, the Apostle, to show that a faith unaccompanied with prayer to God cannot be genuine, states this to be the order: as faith springs from the Gospel, so by faith our hearts are framed to call upon the name of God (Rom 10:14-17). And this is the very thing that he had expressed some time before—i.e., that the Spirit of adoption, which seals the testimony of the Gospel on our hearts (Rom 8:16), gives us cour-age to make our requests known unto God, calls forth groanings (Rom 8:26) that cannot be uttered, and enables us to cry, “Abba, Father” (Rom 8:15).
This last point, as we have hitherto only touched upon it slightly in passing, must now be treated more fully.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
I. Overview of Prayer
II. Rules to Be Observed in Prayer
III. Through Whom Prayer Is to Be Made
IV. Different Kinds of Prayer
V. The Lord’s Prayer as Our Great Example
Short Biography of John Calvin