We continue on this Sunday night our posts on the prayers of John Calvin (see my previous Sunday posts in Nov./Dec., 2014 and now in Jan./Feb.2015), which follow his lectures on the OT prophecy of Jeremiah (Baker reprint, 1979). Tonight we post a brief section from his twelfth lecture and the prayer that concludes it.
This lecture covers Jeremiah 3:12-18, which includes this commentary on God’s gracious word to His backsliding children in v.14 (“Turn, O backsliding children, saith the LORD; for I am married unto you….):
It is a wonderful forbearance and kindness that God, finding his favour neglected, and as it were rejected through the sloth of men, should yet persevere, and invite them again and again. What man would thus patiently bear the loathing of his favour and kindness? But we see that God does not immediately reject the tardy and the slothful, but adds new stimulants that he might at length move them, though this may seem more than necessary. How great is our torpidity? Were not God daily to urge us, how little attention would any of us give to his admonitions? It is therefore, no wonder that he, pardoning our tardiness, should again and again invite us to repentance; which we find is done continually in the Church (178).
Thereupon follows this prayer:
Grant, Almighty God, that as thou at this day mercifully sparest us, when yet in various ways we provoke thy displeasure, — O grant, that we may not harden ourselves against thy chastisements, but that thy forbearance may lead us to repentance, and that also thy scourges may do us good, and that we may so truly turn to thee, that our whole life may testify that we are in our hearts changed; and may we also stimulate one another, that we may unite together in rendering obedience to thy word, and each of us strive to glorify thy name, through Christ Jesus our Lord. –Amen (184).