Thursday, May 27, 2010

Calvin on Prayer: Why Bother?

I just mentioned Dr. Wayne Grudem's reasoning for why we should pray, I now want to offer John Calvin's.  Calvin raises the question, "If [God] is ready, of his own free will, to assist us, what purpose does it serve to employ our prayers which interrupt the spontaneous to employ our prayers, which interrupt the spontaneous curse of his providence?"

He offers this answer:

The very design of prayer furnishes an easy answer.  Believers do not pray, with the view of informing God about things unknown to him, or of exciting him to do his duty, or of urging him as though he were reluctant.  On the contrary, they pray, in order that they may arouse themselves to seek him, that they may exercise their faith in meditating of his promises, that they may relieve themselves from their anxieties by pouring them into his bosom; in a word that they may declare that from him alone they hope and expect, both for themselves and for others, all good things.  -314

Interesting perspective.  Prayer, according to Calvin it seems, isn't about getting goodies but about we may seek Him, exercise our faith, relieve ourselves by trusting in His Sovereignty. 

For more:
Grudem on Prayer:  Why Bother?
Is This How We Pray?

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