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John Calvin puts forward a very simple reason why love is the greatest gift: “Because faith and hope are our own: love is diffused among others.” In other words, faith and hope benefit the possessor, but love always benefits another. In John 13:34–35 Jesus says, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” Love always requires an “other” as an object; love cannot remain within itself, and that is part of what makes love the greatest gift.
William

John Calvin on Prayer: 6 Reasons Why You Should Pray

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Is it even necessary to pray? This question is sometimes asked today. Apparently, it was also popular over 500 years ago.

 

In his famous book Institutes of the Christian Religion, John Calvin dedicates extensive time on prayer, and gives plenty of reasons why you and I should pray.

 

“But someone will say,” Calvin writes, “does God not know even without being reminded, both in what respect we are troubled, and what is expedient for us, so that it seems in a sense that it may be superflous that he should be stirred up by our prayers . . . But they who thus reason do not observe to what end the Lord instructed his people to pray, for he ordained it not so much for his sake but for ours.”

 

Michael Horton recalls a somewhat common conversation:

 

“Sometimes people ask me, ‘Why pray if God is sovereign?’ I respond, ‘Why pray if he isn’t?'”

 

So while there’s more than just six, here’s six reasons why every Christian should pray, as Calvin outlines in his Institutes:

 

Reason #1: For increased zeal.

Calvin starts with zeal. For without communion with the Lord, you can’t expect to be zealous for the Lord. For without communion with the Lord, you can't expect to be zealous for the Lord. - David Qaoud

 

“First, that our hearts may be fired with a zealous and burning desire ever to seek, love, and serve him, while we become accustomed in every need to flee to him as to a sacred anchor.”

 

Reason #2: For the right desires.

Then, Calvin goes to desires. But not just to any desires, but holy ones.

 

“Secondly, that there may enter our hearts no desire and no wish at all of which we should be ashamed to make him a witness, while we learn to set all our wishes before his eyes, and even to pour out our whole hearts.”

 

Reason #3: For increased gratitude.

Now, we’re on to gratitude. The world wants to increase our discontentment, but through prayer, we can be a grateful people.

 

“Thirdly, that we be prepared to receive his benefits with true gratitude of heart and thanksgiving, benefits that our prayer reminds us come from his hand.”

 

Reason #4: For reflection on God’s answers.

We should pray for blessings. But after receiving them, if God wills them, we should spend time reflecting on God’s goodness through prayer.

 

“Fourthly, moreover, that, having obtained what we were seeking, and being convinced that he has answered our prayers, we should be led to meditate upon his kindness more ardently.”

 

Reason #5: For greater delight in God.

Delight and duty go together. Our duty is prayer, and our delight is God. But only through prayer can we actually delight in him (and the blessings he gives).

 

“And fifthly, that at the same time we embrace with greater delight those things which we acknowledge to have been obtained by prayers.”

 

Reason #6: For confirmation of God’s Providence.

I love Calvin because he always seems to bring things back to God’s Providence. Nevertheless, he does the same with prayer, and we should end prayer to help us confirm God’s Providence.

 

“Finally, that use and experience may, according to the measure of our feebleness, confirm his Providence, while we understand not only that he promises never to fail us, and of his own will opens the way to call upon him at the very point of necessity, but also that he ever extends his hand to help his own, no wet-nurising them with words but defending them with present help.”

 

Calvin adds, “On account of these things, our most merciful Father, although he never sleeps or idles, still very often gives the impression of one sleeping or idling in order that he may thus train us, other wise idle and lazy, to seek, ask, and entreat him to our great good.”

 

Prayer is not just a suggestion; it’s a command. And, amazingly, God will listen to your prayer and grant your request if it aligns with his will. Your prayers make things happen. As John Piper once said, “Prayer causes things to happen that wouldn’t happen if you didn’t pray.”

 

Source: http://gospelrelevance.com/2016/07/1...-reasons-pray/

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William I read the 6 reasons to pray. I don't read an answer to why not pray for someones salvation. If that is not a possibility for a child or parent or friend to come to Jesus Christ then it would be wrong to pray for their salvation, right?

 

 

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I think,

 

No, God does not tell us to try to figure out who the Elect are, God does not even excuse our enemies from our prayers. No one from God's providence is exempt. Just as we are to preach the gospel without distinction to every tribe, tongue, and nation, we are to pray for others. We do not know who the elect are. God may use ordinary means to bring forth an outcome, He may use our prayers to save someone. For example: there is nothing wrong praying for an other's regeneration if they demonstrate no fruit. The events God has already determined which includes our prayers may be coming to pass.

 

God bless,

William

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William I read the 6 reasons to pray. I don't read an answer to why not pray for someones salvation. If that is not a possibility for a child or parent or friend to come to Jesus Christ then it would be wrong to pray for their salvation, right?

 

Here is one of those things that I am endlessly puzzled by.

 

The synergistic perspective wonders why the monogists pray for people's salvation - it's ironic really if you think about it - we are the ones who believes God saves sinners, so it makes perfect sense for us to ask him to save them. However the modern synergist who believes it is up to us to make the choice - why would they pray to God for the salvation of sinner (God's already done his bit, right? Isn't it now up to the individual?)

 

Actually it is such prayers that we often see that the heart is more sanctified then the head - deep down at some subconscious level that synergist knows God is sovereign and so they pray for the salvation of those they love.

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I like to think that prayer is part of our participation in what God is doing in the world to redeem us.  He has always been the Redeemer who saves and restores the souls of His people (Psalm 23 "He restores my soul") but through Christ has opened a new and living way to forgiveness, through His blood rather than by animal sacrifice. 

 

But it has always required a repentant heart, the preparation and conviction of which is the work of the Holy Spirit, as Jesus said ("He will convict the world of sin, and righteousness, and judgement").  We are God's helpers and co-workers in His great redemptive work of saving the world, and this, by Christ's example and command (The Lord's Prayer "Your kingdom come, Your will be done"), includes prayer. 

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Prayers sets your mind on spiritual things, not on earthly things to fulfil the lusts of the flesh.

We are to pray and ask God and not grow weary of it.

God wants us to ask Him, since God desires to give to us the kingdom and that is all about relationship.

 

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Just now, sdowney717 said:

Prayers sets your mind on spiritual things, not on earthly things to fulfil the lusts of the flesh.

We are to pray and ask God and not grow weary of it.

God wants us to ask Him, since God desires to give to us the kingdom and that is all about relationship.

 

No doubt our God is intimate in our relationship, and God cares deeply about what bothers us.

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4 minutes ago, William said:

No doubt our God is intimate in our relationship, and God cares deeply about what bothers us.

When I was typing that I was also thinking about this verse.

Those whose mind is set on earthly things are heading to doom and destruction. They wont be doing a lot of praying.

Paul wept about those in a church who were not spiritually minded. 

To be spiritually minded is life and peace with God for the believer.

People who are earthly minded I dont consider them to be saved, they speak as the world speaks.

 

Philippians 3:18-20 New King James Version (NKJV)

18 For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ: 19 whose end is destruction, whose god is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame—who set their mind on earthly things. 20 For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ,

Edited by sdowney717
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1 John 4:4-6 New King James Version (NKJV)
4 You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. 5 They are of the world. Therefore they speak as of the world, and the world hears them. 6 We are of God. He who knows God hears us; he who is not of God does not hear us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error.

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On 12/26/2018 at 12:04 PM, davidtaylorjr said:

Because you are going against God's decree.

Based on that statement would you say we shouldn’t pray for an unsaved person to accept/believe in Christ? 

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21 minutes ago, Erik said:

Based on that statement would you say we shouldn’t pray for an unsaved person to accept/believe in Christ? 

Hope you don't mind me chiming in. I'm here late and no other is online and I starved for attention 😘

 

Question: How then should we pray for the lost?

Answer: Take the biblical statements of what God actually does in conversion and turn them into prayers. For example:

Lord, take out of him/her flesh the heart of stone and give him/her a heart of flesh. Cause him/her to walk in your statutes. Put love for yourself into him/her heart. Open the eyes of him/her heart to see the glory of the gospel. Grant repentance to him/her and free them from the devil. Make them alive together with Christ. Save them by the washing of regeneration and renewal in the Holy Spirit.

 

This petition is biblical and follows the precepts of the Lord. There's nothing wrong with praying for the enemy and reminding God what is in His sovereign power that can only be accomplished by God's intervention. If we do not petition for the lost while on earth there is no chance in the life thereafter.

 

In addition, the Lord's prayer is more than adequate. Praying, your kingdom come your will be done should immediately bring us to understand God's sovereignty. Not "my will" but Your Will. Whether Justice or Mercy, Wrath or Grace His Sovereign will shall be. In a lot of way the Lord's or Disciple's prayer depending on the circle ushers in a blessing and curse, on some and others. We are in essence praying for the Church Victorious to converge with the Church Militant. We are praying for the Lord to come quickly on the Last Day.

 

God bless,

William

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8 minutes ago, William said:

Hope you don't mind me chiming in. I'm here late and no other is online and I starved for attention 😘

 

Question: How then should we pray for the lost?

Answer: Take the biblical statements of what God actually does in conversion and turn them into prayers. For example:

Lord, take out of him/her flesh the heart of stone and give him/her a heart of flesh. Cause him/her to walk in your statutes. Put love for yourself into him/her heart. Open the eyes of him/her heart to see the glory of the gospel. Grant repentance to him/her and free them from the devil. Make them alive together with Christ. Save them by the washing of regeneration and renewal in the Holy Spirit.

 

This petition is biblical and follows the precepts of the Lord. There's nothing wrong with praying for the enemy and reminding God what is in His sovereign power that can only be accomplished by God's inventervention. If we do not petition for the lost while on earth there is no chance in the life thereafter.

 

In addition, the Lord's prayer is more than adequate. Praying, your kingdom come your will be done should immediately bring us to understand God's sovereignty. Not "my will" but Your Will. Whether Justice or Mercy, Wrath or Grace His Sovereign will shall be. In a lot of way the Lord's or Disciple's prayer depending on the circle ushers in a blessing and curse, on some and others. We are in essence praying for the Church Victorious to converge with the Church Militant. We are praying for the Lord to come quickly on the Last Day.

 

God bless,

William

Thank you for chiming in. It would seem that if they are not one of the Elect then it would be praying against Gods will and judgement. 

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40 minutes ago, Erik said:

Thank you for chiming in. It would seem that if they are not one of the Elect then it would be praying against Gods will and judgement. 

Again, we are not praying for our will to be done but the Lord's. We are petitioning because God has instructed us to pray for the enemy. His will is going to be done nevertheless, but it is His will to utilize the means (prayers of the saints) by which He has foreordained to bring things to pass. Abraham for example petitioned God, but God's will was done. God used the appeal of Abraham, bringing him to witness God's glory by His wrath on Sodom and Gomorrah for our benefit.

 

We do not know who the Elect are therefore we are to pray for everyone in such way without distinction. 

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7 hours ago, Erik said:

Based on that statement would you say we shouldn’t pray for an unsaved person to accept/believe in Christ? 

No, we don't know who the elect are, therefore, we should treat every unbeliever as if they are one of the elect and pray for and witness to them until the end.

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1 hour ago, davidtaylorjr said:

No, we don't know who the elect are, therefore, we should treat every unbeliever as if they are one of the elect and pray for and witness to them until the end.

Not trying to be funny but why - what would be the point? Either they are or they are not. That has been predestined and has already been determined according to that doctrine. 

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Obedience to Him . He also prayed for His own 

 

Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee: 
Joh 17:2  As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him. 
Joh 17:3  And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent. 
Joh 17:4  I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do. 
Joh 17:5  And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was. 
Joh 17:6  I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world: thine they were, and thou gavest them me; and they have kept thy word. 
Joh 17:7  Now they have known that all things whatsoever thou hast given me are of thee. 
Joh 17:8  For I have given unto them the words which thou gavest me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came out from thee, and they have believed that thou didst send me. 
Joh 17:9  I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine. 
Joh 17:10  And all mine are thine, and thine are mine; and I am glorified in them. .......
 

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8 hours ago, Erik said:

Based on that statement would you say we shouldn’t pray for an unsaved person to accept/believe in Christ? 

 

I think it is good to pray for unsaved people to believe in Christ while they are still alive.  We never know who will be converted to Christ even in their dying minute.  We are even to pray for our enemies.

Edited by CDF47
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4 hours ago, Erik said:

Not trying to be funny but why - what would be the point? Either they are or they are not. That has been predestined and has already been determined according to that doctrine. 

What you're stating is an objection based on fatalism (if God is sovereign why try?). Fatalism is manifested through various objections, why pray if God is sovereign over salvation? Regardless, this isn't so much an objection based only on "predestination" but an objection towards God's sovereignty over creation.

 

12 hours ago, Erik said:

Thank you for chiming in. It would seem that if they are not one of the Elect then it would be praying against Gods will and judgement. 

This is based on a false premise. God has Commissioned us to preach the gospel in every tongue, to every tribe, and nation let alone pray for everyone including our enemies. So the objection is based on a false premise because God has clearly revealed His will for us and that is quite contrary to not praying for the lost. What you have done is question and allude to objections for a quite orthodox prayer which appeals to God for what must come to pass in the life of the reprobate. If we pray for someone and God says no is that somehow reflecting upon the believer praying for the reprobate negatively?

 

On a deeper personal level I think humility and humbleness in way of a servant that is told to do His master's will rather than his own ought to be examined. It is not our place to decide nor is it in our power we may only share in the great honor of being used as an instrument or means by which God uses to bring about what God desires. Here's a question why would you pray for another if God is impotent and unable to turn a man from his sin to Himself? The objection still remains either way. Many may be called but few chosen but God has told us to go out into the streets and invite everyone to feast.

 

Lastly, Predestination is not a "doctrine" separate from Scripture.

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1 hour ago, William said:

God has Commissioned us to preach the gospel in every tongue, to every tribe, and nation

Amen!

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2 hours ago, William said:

Lastly, Predestination is not a "doctrine" separate from Scripture.

Your interpretation of what predestination means in the scriptures is a point of debate. I haven’t studied the topic fully yet so I’m not prepared to debate it but I will say it doesn’t make sense on the surface. But that doesn’t mean it’s not correct. 

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2 hours ago, William said:

Here's a question why would you pray for another if God is impotent and unable to turn a man from his sin to Himself?

Faith comes by hearing. God certainly can have as much impact in the process any way he wants - I just don’t see him doing it systematically the way you suggest. God doesn’t heal the sick systematically but he can any time he wants for whatever purpose he chooses. 

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53 minutes ago, Erik said:

Faith comes by hearing. God certainly can have as much impact in the process any way he wants - I just don’t see him doing it systematically the way you suggest. God doesn’t heal the sick systematically but he can any time he wants for whatever purpose he chooses. 

When you say systematically what that means is Tota Scriptura or by deriving a doctrine from the entirety of Scripture.

 

Faith comes by hearing the word. The preaching of the Gospel is the outward call. The word in itself is a seed that falls onto stony terrain that cannot take root unless the inward call or conditioning of heart (regeneration) takes place.

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, William said:

When you say systematically what that means is Tota Scriptura

No it means what God does for one for his purpose does not mean he does for all or needs to do for all. Faith comes by hearing. Romans 10:17. The first step is to hear the Word of God (The Gospel). The stony ground represents those that hear the word and receive it but when trouble occurs they turn away from it. I’m not sure where you got the part you added that wasn’t part of what Jesus said. 

Edited by Erik

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3 hours ago, Erik said:

No it means what God does for one for his purpose does not mean he does for all or needs to do for all. Faith comes by hearing. Romans 10:17. The first step is to hear the Word of God (The Gospel). The stony ground represents those that hear the word and receive it but when trouble occurs they turn away from it. I’m not sure where you got the part you added that wasn’t part of what Jesus said. 

Now you're making an argument that nobody here has made so your statement makes little sense. That is unless I am correct and you're suggesting that God does not operate as the Scriptures systematically convey in the theological area of soteriology.

 

Sometimes I wonder if we are even reading the same page Erik. The repetitious nature makes me wonder if one either forgets 10 seconds later or more plausibly isolates a verse and then rejects what is said everywhere else. Either way the effects appear similar. The first to last steps are in Ephesians 1:3-14. These first and last steps are of God Philippians 1:6.

 

Deuteronomy 29:4 But to this day the Lord has not given you a heart to understand or eyes to see or ears to hear.

Philippians 1:29 For it has been granted to you that for the sake of Christ you should not only believe in him but also suffer for his sake

Ezekiel 36:25-27 I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean from all your uncleannesses, and from all your idols I will cleanse you. 26 And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you.  And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. 27 And I will put my Spirit within you, i and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules.

 

Faith comes by hearing the word (outward call). The above references are the inward call. Faith must be granted Philippians 1:29; Ephesians 2:8. The natural man isn't able to understand 1 Corinthians 2:14 for they are incapable, cannot see John 3:3, and cannot hear Deuteronomy 29:4 because they are DEAD in sin and trespass Ephesians 2:2.

 

Many people have heard the Gospel through zealous evangelism Erik, but why is it that only some respond (faith, confession, repentance, and conversion)? Now read Matthew 13:3-9; 1 Corinthians 3:6. Ask whether the word may take root if any of the above conditions are not met.

 

Now you asked about praying for the reprobate. Correct me if wrong but it seems that you have rejected praying for the natural man by appealing to God for the conditions necessary to the reprobate? Without these conditions being met by God it's like flogging a dead horse.

 

Ya know Erik, there are many a book clubs under the guise of a church that do not believe the word of God contained in the Scriptures.

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1 hour ago, William said:

Now you're making an argument that nobody here has made so your statement makes little sense. That is unless I am correct and you're suggesting that God does not operate as the Scriptures systematically convey in the theological area of soteriology.

 

Sometimes I wonder if we are even reading the same page Erik. The repetitious nature makes me wonder if one either forgets 10 seconds later or more plausibly isolates a verse and then rejects what is said everywhere else. Either way the effects appear similar. The first to last steps are in Ephesians 1:3-14. These first and last steps are of God Philippians 1:6.

 

Deuteronomy 29:4 But to this day the Lord has not given you a heart to understand or eyes to see or ears to hear.

Philippians 1:29 For it has been granted to you that for the sake of Christ you should not only believe in him but also suffer for his sake

Ezekiel 36:25-27 I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean from all your uncleannesses, and from all your idols I will cleanse you. 26 And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you.  And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. 27 And I will put my Spirit within you, i and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules.

 

Faith comes by hearing the word (outward call). The above references are the inward call. Faith must be granted Philippians 1:29; Ephesians 2:8. The natural man isn't able to understand 1 Corinthians 2:14 because they are incapable, cannot see John 3:3, and cannot hear Deuteronomy 29:4 because they are DEAD in sin and trespass Ephesians 2:2.

 

Many people have heard the Gospel through zealous evangelism Erik, but why is it that only some respond (faith, confession, repentance, and conversion)? Now read Matthew 13:3-9; 1 Corinthians 3:6. Ask whether the word may take root if any of the above conditions are not met.

 

Now you asked about praying for the reprobate. Correct me if wrong but it seems that you have rejected praying for the natural man by appealing to God for the conditions necessary to the reprobate? Without these conditions being met by God it's like flogging a dead horse.

 

Ya know Erik, there are many a book clubs under the guise of a church that do not believe the word of God contained in the Scriptures.

As a general statement Baptists do not believe in predestination the same way you do. I’m simply asking questions and discussing it. And no I do not reject praying for man - I support it wholeheartedly. 

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