Monday, April 20, 2015

Keller writes on Calvin and prayer

In the seventh chapter of Manhattan's own Tim Keller's book called Prayer, Keller provides a summary of some of John Calvin's teaching on prayer from Institutes of the Christian Religion. Keller reviews Calvin's treatment of what Clavin calls his "rules for prayer."

Keller introduces the four rules of prayer:

  1. Christians are to have a due sense of the seriousness of what prayer is. That is, they should pray with reverential fear.
  2. Christians should pray with spiritual humility which includes a sense of our dependence on God and a willing readiness to repent of our faults.
  3. Christians should pray with a submissive trust of God.
  4. Christians should pray with confidence and hope.

After laying out these rules  of prayer by John Calvin, Keller describes what it means to pray in Jesus' name. I found this a solid explanation.
To pray in Jesus' name means to come to God in prayer consciously trusting in Christ for our salvation and acceptance and not relying on our own credibility or record. It is, essentially, to reground our relationship with God in the saving work of Jesus over and over again. It also means to recognize your status as a child of God, regardless of your inner state.
I find the idea of regrounding my relationship in the saving work of Jesus again and again a concept that brings me much joy. Prayer can be intimidating if even the most miniscule part of it is relying on anything I have merited. If it's going to be, and it's up to me, then nobody should be holding their breath. But thankfully, prayer is not grounded on my actions, but rather it is grounded on the Son of God's greacious work of salvation. That I can work with!

1 comment:

  1. Every part of life truly is cross centered! We'd have no business approaching God in prayer if it wasn't for Christ's work. Prayer should never turn into a letter to Santa but instead be rooted in reverence for God through the work of Christ.