The Prayers of J. Calvin (23)

Praying with calvin- JeremiahOn this Lord’s Day we continue our posts on the prayers of John Calvin (see my previous Sunday posts in Nov./Dec., 2014 and now in 2015 – last on August 9), which follow his lectures on the OT prophecy of Jeremiah (Baker reprint, 1979). Today we post a brief section from his twenty-second lecture and the prayer that concludes it.

This lecture covers Jeremiah 5:25-31, which includes Calvin’s commentary on 25: “Your iniquities have turned away these things, and your sins have withholden good things from you.”

Here is part of his application of this passage to the church in his day and to us:

…We throw heaven and earth into confusion by our sins. For were we in right order as to our obedience to God, doubtless all the elements [of creation] would be conformable, and we should thus observe in the world an angelic harmony. But as our lusts tumultuate against God; nay, as we stir up war daily, and provoke him by our pride, perverseness, and obstinacy, it must needs be, that all things, above and below, should be in disorder, that the heavens should at one time appear cloudy, and that continuous rains should at another time destroy the produce of the earth, and that nothing should be unmixed and unstained in the world. This confusion then, in all the elements, is to be ascribed to our sins: and this is what is meant by the Prophet. Though indeed the reproof was then addressed to the Jews, we may yet gather hence a lesson of general instruction (p.301).

And here is the prayer of Calvin that follows this lecture:

Grant, Almighty God, that since we have been hitherto extremely deaf to thy many exhortations, and also to those threatenings by which thou hast sharply stimulated us to repentance, – O grant, that this perverseness may not always remain in us, but that we may at length submit to thee, not only for a short time, but continually, so that we may to the end devote ourselves wholly to thee, and thus glorify thy name, that we may at last become partakers of that glory, which has been procured for us by the blood of thy only-begotten Son. – Amen (p.312).

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