Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Calvin: countering our weakness in prayer

Tuesday, March 28, 2017
    Through him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name.
    —Hebrews 13:15 (ESV)
    Although we ought always to raise our minds upwards towards God, and pray without ceasing, yet such is our weakness, which requires to be supported, such our torpor, which requires to be stimulated, that it is requisite for us to appoint special hours for this exercise, hours which are not to pass away without prayer, and during which the whole affections of our minds are to be completely occupied; namely, when we rise in the morning, before we commence our daily work, when we sit down to food, when by the blessing of God we have taken it, and when we retire to rest. This, however, must not be a superstitious observance of hours, by which, as it were, performing a task to God, we think we are discharged as to other hours; it should rather be considered as a discipline by which our weakness is exercised and stimulated. [Continued tomorrow]
    ... John Calvin (1509-1564), The Institutes of the Christian Religion, v. II, tr. John Allen, Presbyterian Board of Publication and Sabbath-School Work, 1921, III.xx.50, p. 137-138 (see the book)
    See also Heb. 13:15; Luke 18:1; Rom. 12:12; Eph. 6:18; 1 Thess. 5:17
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, how easily I am distracted from prayer!
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