“Of Prayer” John Calvin: Institutes of the Christian Religion

(Of Prayer) “Hence it appears that to pray aright is a special gift.” John Calvin—- 10 July 1509 – 27 May 1564 was a French theologianpastor and reformer in Geneva during the Protestant Reformation.


12 thoughts on ““Of Prayer” John Calvin: Institutes of the Christian Religion

  1. John Calvin has me searching to repair the leaky roof of prayer I may have espoused for years.
    Espoused, “to make one’s own; adopt or embrace, as a cause.”

    Aright, “rightly; correctly; properly: I want to set things aright.” A great definition of how I would like to pray, According to Calvin this is a special gift.

    Amiss, “out of the right or proper course, order, or condition; improperly; wrongly; astray:
    “Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.” James 4:3

    Big Question❓ A special gift.

    1. How often have I sat in a prayer circle and felt I’m need to change the way I’m praying as I’m not in touch with the new way of praying.

      Yes I need to know more Words of scripture to interject in my prayer. The list goes on and on and I begin to wonder if my appeals to heaven get pass the gates of heaven.

      On Scripture 2nd Chronicles says “if my people will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and restore their land.”
      What stood out for me was “seek my face” in researching I found the Hebrew word for face is defined as God’s Presence.

      So in my mind God’s Presence is God’s Present (gift ) to us. God can not look upon the earth’s Me prayers
      with request for self . He ask we turn strive to be more like Him.

      Our heart can not be as stone when praying but heartbeats together to pray affectively for what God has given us to pray about.

      1. Rena, your comment gives me the visual, look for me and you will surely find me!
        “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:13
        “I love all who love me. Those who search will surely find me. Proverb 8:17

        James 4:8-“Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you.”

  2. John Calvin’s statement and your “Big Question?”, Sara, really got me thinking. I searched many scriptures on prayer and gifts this am and I saw for sure that God wants us all to pray and that He gives gifts as He chooses. Prayers I read by Paul were very specific and seemed ‘aright’. So I wonder if Paul had the ‘special gift’ of prayer? Did he ask for it or was it chosen for Him by God? If we desire this gift and ask for it, will we get it? Or does God choose who He wants to have this gift? How will we know if we have it and we are praying ‘aright’?

    I read in Romans 8:26 that, “he Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words.” Then I read that the Holy Spirit is a gift… if I read Acts 2:38 correctly. So, is He the special gift of prayer or does He give this ‘special gift’ as one of several other gifts? Guess I have a lot of questions and concerns because as you wrote your definitions above, it seems we are either praying ‘aright’ and getting answers or praying ‘amiss’ and getting nothing.

  3. I think this gift is the help of the Holy Spirit that wants to be our in-house helper. If we seek Him and His counsel we will definitely be praying aright.

    There is just so much beauty, interest, surprises, joy, peace, love among other great superlatives that awaits us at every turn when we receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

  4. This prayers was taken from a little book, “The Little Treasures of Prayers” and sent to me to bless me on my Birthday from my husband.
    Prayer on a Birthday.
    My Lord and my God, in Thee I live, and move, and have my being, Thou art my stay in life and in death. I will praise Thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made, marvelous are Thy works, and that my soul knoweth right well. Thou hast covered me in my mother’s womb; my substance was not hid from Thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being imperfect, and in Thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them. To-day I will call to my mind the day of my birth which is the beginning both of my temporal and spiritual life, when I was brought unto Holy Baptism, and became reconciled unto my God, and was cleansed by the Water in connection with the Word, when my sins were taken away and the Holy Ghost bestowed upon me; for all which I thank and praise Thee. I praise Thee, O God, my Creator! that on this day Thou hast brought me forth from my mother’s womb, although in pain and sorrow. I thank Thee, that Thou hast brought me to a place where Thy name is rightfully known, Thy holy Word taught in all purity, and that I am thus enabled, under Thy guidance, to come unto the true and living faith. I thank Thee, O Lord Jesus Christ! for all the blessings, with which Thou in loving-kindness often hast remembered my body and soul, from the hour of my birth until the present time, inasmuch
    as Thou didst not only nourish and preserve my body, and in various ways protect my temporal life through Thy holy angels, who always behold the face of the Father in heaven, and daily provide me with abundant food and raiment, but, above all things, Thou hast bestowed upon me through Thy Word, spiritual and imperishable gifts, and hast assured me in Holy Baptism, the bath of Regeneration, that I have been made a new creature and have become the first-fruit of Christ Jesus; Thou hast pardoned all my sins, and hast blessed me with the gift of the Holy Ghost and made me heir of eternal Life; and though I have often, through the weakness of my flesh, or wantonly, forsaken my God and forgotten His commandments, and have even more than seventy times seven committed fearful sins against God in Heaven and my fellow-men on earth, yet didst Thou not, O Lord Jesus! enter into judgment with Thy servant, and visit him with immediate and well-deserved punishment. O God, Holy Spirit! what a shameful life have I thus far led! How often, and on
    how many occasions have I stumbled in my Christian walk, and have become guilty of great and atrocious sins! But Thou, O God, Holy Ghost! hast just as often sought the lost sheep, and hast brought me again upon the path of rectitude, and hast sanctified, comforted and guided me. Thou hast preserved me in my station, and hast restrained the devil and averted a host of bodily and spiritual dangers in which I should have perished long ago, if Thou hadst not stood by me. O blessed Trinity! There is a time to be born; do Thou graciously help all fruit of the womb and grant, a joyful birthday, forgiveness of sins and life eternal. Grant that I may to-day spend my birthday, as also all future days of my life, without committing mortal sins, and that I may become conscious of my humble birth and wretchedness by nature. Do Thou bestow upon me the blessings of health and life until the goal is reached. Grant me patience to endure all afflictions and sufferings. Comfort me in all misfortunes and distress. Forgive me daily my sins and grant that I may thus continue firm unto my soul’s salvation, and that I may, in the true and saving faith and with a good conscience, serve Thee even unto the end, through Jesus Christ. Amen.”

  5. Thank you for sharing such a beautiful and holy prayer you received for your birthday. And may you have a truly blessed birthday.

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