Great Prayers of the Past – John Calvin

The great reformer John Calvin has long been a hero of mine, but not because of anything that has to do with what has become associated with Calvinism today. Rather it was his unbending commitment to doctrinal purity, and fearless objection to anything he thought unbiblical. Certainly, my praise of Calvin doesn't come without equal amounts of critique. He was often ruthless and at times cold-hearted by some accounts. Nonetheless, for better or worse even these actions should be viewed as stemming from the seriousness that he placed on doctrinal purity.

Calvin was not a man without mistakes and major flaws, but his heart wholly and completely belonged to God. In a day when many of his followers were looking to him to be a "savior" of sorts, he always strove to bring all the attention and focus back to God and
the preeminence of Christ, while attempting to make himself smaller. Being exalted by men as he was (and still is today), I can imagine the struggle he must have had with pride. I can imagine that it must have been in that context that he penned the following prayer:

Grant, almighty God, as no other way of access to you is open for us except through unfeigned humility, that we often learn to abase ourselves with feelings of true repentance. May we be so displeased with ourselbes as not to be satisfied with a single confession of our iniquities. May we continue to meditate on our sins until we are more and more penetrated with real grief. Then may we fly to your mercy, prostrate  ourselves before you in silence and acknowledge no other hope than your pity, and the intercession of your only begotten Son. May we be reconciled to you, absolved from our sins, and governed throughout the whole course of our life by your Holy Spirit. Let us at length enjoy the victory in every kind of contest, and arrive at that blessed rest which you have prepared for us by the same, our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

  • Griff

    Calvinists are people too!