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"...if anyone makes the assistance of grace depend on the humility or obedience of man and does not agree that it is a gift of grace itself that we are obedient and humble, he contradicts the Apostle who says, "What have you that you did not receive?" (1 Cor. 4:7), and, "But by the grace of God I am what I am" (1 Cor. 15:10). (Council of Orange: Canon 6)

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  • « The Pacific Northwest L’Abri Conference 2007 | Main | Doctrines of Grace – Categorized Scripture List »

    Calvin's Pastoral Prayers from the Book of Hosea

    John Calvin had a pastoral heart for his readers and for those in his congregation. This is most evident as seen in his prayers which can be found at the end of each lesson in his commentaries. I have selected a number of his prayers from his commentary on the Book of Hosea. They exhibit the depth of his relationship to Christ and are a great meditation and help for our own prayers. Hope you are edified as much as I am by them.

    Prayer

    Grant, Almighty God, that as thou hast once adopted us, and continues to confirm this thy favour by calling us unceasingly to thyself, and dost not only severely chastise us, but also gently and paternally invite us to thyself, and exhort us at the same time to repentance, -- O grant that we may not be so hardened as to resist thy goodness, nor abuse this thine incredible forbearance, but submit ourselves in obedience to thee; that whenever thou mayest severely chastise us, we may bear thy corrections with genuine submission of faith, and not continue untameable and obstinate to the last, but return to thee the only fountain of life and salvation, that as thou has once begun in us a good work, so thou mayest perfect it to the day of our Lord. Amen.


    Prayer

    Grant, Almighty God, that as we were from our beginning lost, when thou wert pleased to extend to us thy hand, and to restore us to salvation for the sake of thy Son; and that as we continue even daily to run headlong to our own ruin, -- O grant that we may not, by sinning so often, so provoke at length thy displeasure as to cause thee to take away from us the mercy which thou hast hitherto exercised towards us, and through which thou hast adopted us: but by thy Spirit destroy the wickedness of our heart, and restore us to a sound mind, that we may ever cleave to thee with a true and sincere heart, that being fortified by thy defence, we may continue safe even amidst all kinds of danger, until at length thou gatherest us into that blessed rest, which has been prepared for us in heaven by our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

    Prayer.

    Grant, Almighty God, that as we have not only been redeemed from Babylonian exile, but have also emerged from hell itself; for when we were the children of wrath thou didst freely adopt us, and when we were aliens, thou didst in thine infinite goodness open to us the gate of thy kingdom, that we might be made thy heirs through the Son, O grant that we may walk circumspectly before thee, and submit ourselves wholly to thee and to thy Christ, and not feign to be his members, but really prove ourselves to be his body, and to be so governed by his Spirit, that thou mayest at last gather us together into thy celestial kingdom, to which thou daily invitest us by the same Christ our Lord. Amen.


    Prayer

    Grant, Almighty God, that as thou hast not only of late adopted us as thy children, but before we were born, and as thou hast been pleased to sign us, as soon as we came forth from our mother's womb, with the symbol of that holy redemption, which has been obtained for us by the blood of thy only begotten Son, though we have by our ingratitude renounced so great a benefit, -- O grant, that being mindful of our defection and unfaithfulness, of which eve are all guilty, and for which thou hast justly rejected us, we may now with true humility and obedience of faith embrace the grace of thy gospel now again offered to us, by which thou reconciles thyself to us; and grant that we may steadfastly persevere in pure faith, so as never to turn aside from the true obedience of faith, but to advance more and more in the knowledge of thy mercy, that having strong and deep roots, and being firmly grounded in the confidence of sure faith, we may never fall away from the true worship of thee, until thou at length receives us in to that eternal kingdom, which has been procured for us by the blood of thy only Son. Amen.

    Prayer

    Grant, Almighty God, that inasmuch as we are so dull and slothful, that though often admonished, we yet consider not our sins, yea, though chastised by thy hand, we yet return not immediately to a right mind, -- O grant, that we may hereafter profit more under thy rod, and not he refractory and untractable; but as soon as thou raises thy hand, may each of us mourn, know our own evils, and then, with one consent, surrender ourselves to be ruled by thee; and may we, in the meantime, patiently and calmly endure thy chastisements, and never murmur against thee, but ever aspire to the attainment of true repentance, until, having at length put off all the vices and corruptions of our flesh, we attain to the fulness of righteousness, and to that true and blessed glory which has been prepared for us in heaven by Jesus Christ. Amen.

    Prayer

    Grant, Almighty God, that as we set up against thee so many obstacles through the depravity of our flesh and natural disposition, that we seem as it were to be designedly striving to close up the door against thy goodness and paternal favour, O grant, that our hearts may be so softened by thy Spirit, and the hardness which has hitherto prevailed may be so corrected, that we may submit ourselves to thee with genuine docility, especially as thou dost so kindly and tenderly invite us to thyself, that being allured by thy sweet invitation, we may run, and so run as not to be weary in our course, until Christ shall at length bring us together to thee, and, at the same time, lead us to thee for that eternal life, which he has obtained for us by his own blood. Amen.

    Prayer

    Grant, Almighty God, that as we are in this life subject to so many miseries, and in the meantime grow insensible in our sins, -- O grant that we may learn to search ourselves and consider one sins, that we may be really humbled before thee, and ascribe to ourselves the blame of all our evils, that we may be thus led to a genuine feeling of repentance, and so strive to be reconciled to thee in Christ, that we may wholly depend on thy paternal love, and thus ever aspire to the fulness of eternal felicity, through thy goodness and that immeasurable kindness which thou testifies is ready and offered to all those, who with a sincere heart worship thee, call upon thee, and flee to thee, through Christ our Lord. Amen.

    Prayer

    Grant, Almighty God, that since we are at this day as guilty before thee as the Israelites of old were, who were so rebellious against thy Prophets, and that as thou hast often tried sweetly to allure us to thyself without any success, and as we have not hitherto ceased, by our continual obstinacy, to provoke thy wrath, -- O grant, that being moved at least by the warnings thou givest us, we may prostrate ourselves before thy face, and not wait until thou puttest forth thy hand to destroy us, but, on the contrary, strive to anticipate thy judgment; and that being at the same time surely convinced that thou art ready to be reconciled to us in Christ, we may flee to Him as our Mediator; and that relying on his intercession, we may not doubt but that thou art ready to give us pardon, until having at length put away all sins, we come to that blessed state of glory which has been obtained for us by the blood of thy Son. Amen.


    Prayer

    Grant, Almighty God, that, since thou hast hitherto so kindly invited us to thyself, and daily invites us, and often interposes also thy threatening to rouse our inattention, and since we have been inattentive to thy reproofs, as well as to thy paternal kindness, -- O grant, that we may not, to the last, proceed in this our wickedness, and thus provoke the vengeance thou here denounces on men past recovery; but that we may anticipate thy wrath by true repentance, and be humbled under thy hand, yea, be thy word, that thou mayest receive us into favor, and nourish us in thy paternal bosom, through Christ our Lord. Amen.


    Prayer

    Grant, Almighty God, that inasmuch as we are so disposed and inclined to all kinds of errors, to so many and so various forms of superstitions, and as Satan also ceases not to lay in wait for us, and spreads before us his many snares, -- O grant, that we may be so preserved in obedience to thee by the teaching of thy word, that we may never turn here and there, either to the right hand or to the left, but continue in that pure worship, which thou hast prescribed, so that we may plainly testify that thou art indeed our Father by continuing under the protection of thy only-begotten Son, whom thou hast given to be our pastor and ruler to the end. Amen.

    Prayer

    Grant, Almighty God, that since thou hast at this time deigned in thy mercy to gather us to thy Church, and to enclose us within the boundaries of thy word, by which thou preserves us in the true and right worship of thy majesty, -- O grant, that we may continue contented in this obedience to thee: and though Satan may, in many ways, attempt to draw us here and there, and we be also ourselves, by nature, inclined to evil, O grant, that being confirmed in faith, and united to thee by that sacred bond, we may yet constantly abide under the guidance of thy word, and thus cleave to Christ thy only-begotten Son, who has joined us for ever to himself, that we may never by any means turn aside from thee, but be, on the contrary, confirmed in the faith of his gospel, until at length he will receive us all into his kingdom. Amen.

    Prayer

    Grant, Almighty God, that since thou continues daily to exhort us, and though thou sees us often turning aside from the right course, thou yet ceases not to stretch forth thy hand to us, and also to rouse us by reproofs, that we may repent, -- O grant, that we may not be permitted to reject thy word with such perverseness as thou condemnest here in thine ancient people by the mouth of thy Prophet; but rule us by thy Spirit, that we may meekly and obediently submit to thee, and with such teachableness, that if we have not hitherto been willing to become wise, we may not at least be incurable, but suffer thee to heal our diseases, so that we may truly repent, and be so wholly given to obey thee, as never to attempt any thing beyond the rule of thy word, and without that wisdom which thou hast revealed to us, not only by Moses and thy Prophets, but also by thy only-begotten Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.


    Prayer

    Grant, Almighty God, that as we are already by nature the children of wrath, and yet thou hast deigned to receive us into favour, and hast set before us a sacred pledge of thy favor in thine only-begotten Son, and that as we have not yet ceased often to provoke thy wrath against us, and also to fall away by shameful perfidy from the covenant thou hast made with us, -- O grant, that being at least touched by thy admonitions, we may not harden our hearts in wickedness, but be pliant and teachable, and thus endeavor to return unto favor with thee, that through the interceding sacrifice of thy Son, we may find thee a propitious Father, and be for the future so wholly devoted to thee, that those who shall follow and survive us may be confirmed in the worship of thy majesty, and in true religion, through the same Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


    Prayer

    Grant, Almighty God, that as we continue to kindle often thy wrath against us by our innumerable sins, -- O grant, that when thou warnest and wouldest restore us to the right way, we may at least be pliant, and without delay attend to the scourges of thy hand, and not wait for extreme severity, but timely repent; and that we may truly and from the heart seek thee, let us not put on false repentance, but strive to devote ourselves wholly to thee, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


    Prayer

    Grant, Almighty God, that as we do not, by due gratitude, respond to thy favors, and after having tasted of thy mercy, have willingly sought ruin to ourselves, -- O grant, that we, being renewed by thy Spirit, may not only remain constant in the fear of thy name, but also advance more and more and be established; that being thus armed with thy invincible power, we may strenuously fight against all the wiles and assaults of Satan, and thus pursue our warfare to the end, -- and that being thus sustained by thy mercy, we may ever aspire to that life which is hid for us in heaven, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

    Prayer

    Grant, Almighty God, that as we are prone to every kind of wickedness, and are so easily led away to imitate it, when there is any excuse for going astray and any opportunity is offered, -- O grant, that being strengthened by the help of thy Spirit, we may continue in purity of faith, and that what we have learnt concerning thee, that thou art a Spirit, may so profit us, that we may worship thee in spirit and with a sincere heart, and never turn aside after the corruptions of the world, nor think that we can deceive thee; but may we so devote our souls and bodies to thee, that our life may in every part of it testify, that we are a pure and holy sacrifice to thee in Christ Jesus our Lord. Amen.


    Prayer

    Grant, Almighty God, that since thou hast once shone upon us by thy gospel, -- O grant, that we may always be guided by this light, and so guided, that all our lusts may be restrained; and may the power of thy Spirit extinguish in us every sinful fervor, that we may not grow hot with our own perverse desires, but that all these being subdued, we may gather new fervor daily, that we may breathe after thee more and more: nor let the coldness of our flesh ever take possession of us, but may we continually advance in the way of piety, until at length we come to that blessed rest, to which thou invites us, and which has been obtained for us by the blood of thy only-begotten Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

    Prayer

    Grant, Almighty God, that since thou continues daily to restore us to thyself, both by scourges and by thy word, though we cease not to go astray after sinful desires, -- O grant, that by the direction of thy Spirit, we may at length so return to thee, that we may never afterwards fall away, but be preserved in pure and true obedience, and thus constantly continue in the pure worship of thy majesty and in true, obedience, that after this life past, we may at last reach that blessed rest, which is reserved for us in heaven, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


    Prayer

    Grant, Almighty God, that since the rule of thy true and lawful worship is sufficiently known to us, and thou continues to exhort us to persevere in our course, and to abide in that pure and simple worship which thou hast fully approved, -- O grant, that we may, in true obedience of faith, respond to thee: and though we now see the whole world carried here and there, and all places full of the awful examples of apostacy, and so much madness everywhere prevailing, that men become more and more hardened daily, -- O grant, that, being fortified by invincible faith against these so many temptations, we may persevere in true religion, and never at any time turn aside from the teaching of thy word, until we be at length gathered to Christ our King, under whom, as our head, thou hast promised that we shall ever be safe, and until we attain that happy life which is laid up for us in heaven, through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.

    Prayer

    Grant, Almighty God, that as we have already so often provoked thy wrath against us, and thou hast in thy paternal indulgence borne with us, or at least chastised us so gently as to spare us, -- O grant, that we may not become hardened in our wickedness, but seasonably repent, and that we may not be drawn away after the inventions of our flesh, nor seek ways to flee away from thee, but come straight forward to thy presence, and make a humble, sincere, and honest confession of our sins, that thou mayest receive us into favor, and that being reconciled to us, thou mayest bestow on us a larger measure of thy blessings, through Christ our Lord. Amen.


    Prayer

    Grant, Almighty God, that inasmuch as thou drawest us at this time to thyself by so many chastisements, While we are yet insensible, through the slothfulness and the indolence of our flesh, -- O grant, that Satan may not thus perpetually harden and fascinate us; but that we, being at length awakened, may feel our evils, and be not merely affected by outward punishments, but rouse ourselves, and feel how grievously we have in various ways offended thee, so that we may return to thee with real sorrow, and so abhor ourselves, that we may seek in thee every delight, until we at length offer to thee a pleasing and acceptable sacrifice, by dedicating ourselves and all we have to thee, in sincerity and truth, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

    Prayer

    Grant, Almighty God, that as thou shinest on us by thy word, we may not be blind at mid-day, nor wilfully seek darkness, and thus lull our minds asleep: but that exercising ourselves in thy word, we may stir up ourselves more and more to fear thy name, and thus present ourselves, and all our pursuits, as a sacrifice to thee, that thou mayest peaceably rule, and perpetually dwell in us, until thou gatherest us to thy celestial habitation, where there is reserved for us eternal rest and glory, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


    Prayer

    Grant, Almighty God, that inasmuch as thou hast freely embraced us in thy only-begotten Son, and made us, from being the sons and race of Adam, a holy and blessed seed, and as we have not hitherto ceased to alienate ourselves from the grace thou hast offered to us, -- O grant, that we may hereafter so return to a sound mind, as to cleave faithfully and with sincere affection of heart to thy Son, and so retain by this bond thy love, and be also retained in the grace of adoption, that thy name may be glorified by us as long as we sojourn in this world, until thou at length gatherest us into thy celestial kingdom, which has been purchased for us by the blood of thy Son. Amen.

    Prayer

    Grant, Almighty God, that as thou dost train us up with so much diligence and assiduous care, and regard us as dear and precious like an hereditary vine, -- O grant, that we may not bring forth wild grapes, and that our fruit may not be bitter and unpleasant to thee, but that we may strive so to form our whole life in obedience to thy law, that all our actions and thoughts may be pleasant and sweet fruits to thee. And as there is ever some sin mixed up with our works, even when we desire to serve thee sincerely and from the heart, grant that all stains in our works may be so cleansed and washed away by the sacrifice of thy Son, that they may be to thee sacrifices of sweet odour, through the same, even Christ Jesus, who has so reconciled us to thee, as to obtain pardon even for our works. Amen.


    Prayer

    Grant, Almighty God, that as thou hast once appeared in the person of thy only-begotten Son, and hast rendered in him thy glory visible to us, and as thou dost daily set forth to us the same Christ in the glass of thy gospel, -- O grant, that we, fixing our eyes on him, may not go astray, nor be led here and there after wicked inventions, the fallacies of Satan, and the allurements of this world: but may we continue firm in the obedience of faith and persevere in it through the whole course of our life, until we be at length fully transformed into the image of thy eternal glory, which now in part shines in us, through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.

    Prayer

    Grant, Almighty God, that as we remain yet in our own wickedness, though often warned and sweetly invited by thee, and as thou prevailest not with us by thy daily instruction, -- O grant, that we may, in a spirit of meekness, at length turn to thy service, and fight against the hardness and obstinacy of our flesh, till we render ourselves submissive to thee, and not wait until thou puttest forth thy hand against us, or at least so profit under thy chastisements, as not to constrain thee to execute extreme vengeance against us, but to repent without delay; and that we may indeed, without hypocrisy, plough under thy yoke, and so enjoy thy special blessings, that thou mayest show thyself to us not only as our Lord, but also as our Father, full of mercy and kindness, through Christ our Lord. Amen.

    Prayer

    Grant, Almighty God, that as thou hast deigned to choose us before the foundations of the world were laid, and included us in thy free adoption when we were the children of wrath and doomed to utter ruin, and afterwards embraced us even from the womb, and hast at length favoured us with a clearer proof of thy love, in calling us by thy gospel into a union and communion with thy only-begotten Son, -- O grant, that we may not be unmindful of so many and so singular benefits, but respond to thy holy calling, and labour to devote ourselves wholly to thee, and labour, not for one day, but for the whole time designed for us here, both to live and to die according to thy good pleasure, so that we may glorify thee to the end, through our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.


    Prayer

    Grant, Almighty God, that since we are too secure and torpid in our sins, thy dread majesty may come to our minds, to humble us, and to remove our fear, that we may learn anxiously to seek reconciliation through Christ, and so abhor ourselves for our sins, that thou mayest then be prepared to receive us: and that unbelief may not shut the door against us, enable us to regard thee to be such as thou hast revealed thyself, and to acknowledge that thou art not like us, but the fountain of all mercy, that we may thus be led to entertain a firm hope of salvation, and that, relying on the Mediator, thy only-begotten Son, we may know him as the throne of grace, full of compassion and mercy. O grant, that we may thus come to thee, that through him we may certainly know that thou art our Father, so that the covenant thou hast made with us may never fail through our fault, even this, that we are thy people, because thou hast once adopted us in thy only-begotten Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

    Prayer

    Grant, Almighty God, that as thou appearest not now to us in shadows and types, as formerly to the holy fathers, but clearly and plainly in thy only-begotten Son, -- O grant, that we may be wholly given to the contemplation of thine image, which thus shines before us; and that we may in such a manner be transformed into it, as to make increasing advances, until at length, having put off all the filth of our flesh, we be fully conformed to that pure and perfect holiness which dwells in Christ, as in him dwells the fulness of all blessings and thus obtain at last a participation of that glory which our Lord has procured for us by his resurrection. Amen.

    Prayer

    Grant, Almighty God, that as we have not only been created by thee, but when thou hast placed us in this world, thou hast also enriched us with abundance of all blessings, -- O grant, that we may not transfer to others the glory duo to thee, and that especially since we are daily admonished by thy word, and even severely reproved, we may not with an iron hardness resist, but render ourselves pliable to thee, and not give ourselves up to our own devices, but follow with true docility and meekness, that rule which thou hast prescribed in thy word, until at length having put off all the remains of errors, we shall enjoy that blessed light, which thou hast prepared for us in heaven, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

    Prayer

    Grant, Almighty God, that as thou dost so kindly call on us daily by thy voice, meekly and calmly to offer ourselves to be ruled by thee, and since thou hast exalted us to a high degree of honour by freeing us from the dread of the devil, and from that tyranny which kept us in miserable fear, and hast also favoured us with the Spirit of adoption and of hope, -- O grant, that we, being mindful of these benefits, may ever submit ourselves to thee, and desire only to raise our voice for this end, that the whole world may submit itself to thee, and that those who seem now to rage against thee may at length be brought, as well as we, to render thee obedience, so that thy Son Christ may be the Lord of all, to the end that thou alone mayest be exalted, and that we may be made subject to thee, and be at length raised up above, and become partakers of that glory which has been obtained for us by Christ our Lord. Amen.

    Prayer

    Grant, Almighty God, that as thou hast given us thy only begotten Son to rule us, and hast by thy good pleasure consecrated him a King over us, that we may be perpetually safe and secure under his hand against all the attempts of the devil and of the whole world,- O grant, that we may suffer ourselves to be ruled by his authority, and so conduct ourselves, that he may ever continue to watch for our safety: and as thou hast committed us to him, that he may be the guardian of our salvation, so also suffer us not either to turn aside or to fall, but preserve us ever in his service, until we be at length gathered into that blessed and everlasting kingdom, which has been procured for us by the blood of thy only Son. Amen.

    Prayer

    Grant, Almighty God, that as we now carry about us this mortal body, yea, and nourish through sin a thousand deaths within us, -- O grant, that we may ever by faith direct our eyes towards heaven, and to that incomprehensible power, which is to be manifested at the last day by Jesus Christ our Lord, so that in the midst of death we may hope that thou wilt be our Redeemer, and enjoy that redemption, which he completed when he rose from the dead; and not doubt but that the fruit which he then brought forth by his Spirit will come also to us, when Christ himself shall come to judge the world; and may we thus walk in the fear of thy name, that we may be really gathered among his members, to be made partakers of that glory, which by his death he has procured for us. Amen.


    Prayer

    Grant, Almighty God, that as we are so miserable as soon as thou withdrawest thy favour from us, -- O grant, that we may deeply feel this conviction, and thus learn to be humble before thee, and to hate our ownselves, and that we may not in the mean lime deceive ourselves by such allurements as commonly prevail, to put our hope in creatures or in this world, but raise our minds upwards to thee, and fix on thee our hearts, and never doubt, but that when thou embraces us with thy paternal love, nothing shall be wanting to us. And in the meantime, may we suppliantly flee to thy mercy, and with true and genuine confession, acknowledge this to be our only protection -- that thou deign to receive us into favour, and to abolish our sins, into which we not only daily fall, but by which we also deserve eternal death, so that we may daily rise through thy free pardon, till at length our Redeemer Christ thy Son shall appear to us from heaven. Amen.

    Posted by John on May 25, 2007 11:22 AM

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