And I tell you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. Luke 11:9
If we pray, this is always sure: ‘If we ask, we shall receive. ‘The Lord has said it; it is so, it must be so. How can we strengthen our faith to believe this? Consider these: (1.) Through faith in Christ we are sons of God (Gal. 4:6). What a blessed estate! (2.) Since Christ is more than heaven and earth, if Christ is given, God will not deny you anything. (Rom. 8:32). (3.) God is gracious to all his creatures and delights in mercy. (4.) God is all sufficient and omnipotent; he over-rules all, is excellent in knowledge, wonderful in working, and is all-sufficient to save. (5.) Consider how God has been faithful in past times. If once he has heard you in mercy, he will hear you always. (6.) Fathers on earth care for their children; how much more pity, love, and mercy may we expect from our heavenly Father? Remember the great love of David for his rebellious son: ‘O Absalom, my son, my son’, or how Jacob’s life was bound up in the life of his son. Let this truth help stay up our hands in prayer, namely, that our great God has planted this affection in these parents as a type of his own great love. We fear in our imperfections, weakness, and manifold infirmities, that God’s hand will hold back good things from us. We cry out ‘O my prayers are lost and to no purpose! O my sins and infirmities will stop the answer to my prayers!’ O man! If a son has sinned greatly and comes home bleeding, broken and freely confesses his sins, do you not embrace him and cry out, ‘O my son, my son!’? How much more our God! Whatever your case, you shall find him exceedingly merciful. When enemies, God sought us and received us; how much more now! O that our faith would get a hold of this that we may learn to wrestle with God, and prevail in prayer!
In this classic devotional, John Calvin urges readers to apply the Christian life in a balanced way to mind, heart, and hand. Rather than focusing on contemplative otherworldliness, the book stresses the importance of a devotedly active Christian life. In style and spirit, this book is much like Augustine’s Confessions, Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress, or Thomas à Kempis’s Imitation of Christ. However, its intense practicality sets it apart, making it easily accessible for any reader seeking to carry out Christian values in everyday life. Chapter themes include obedience, self-denial, the significance of the cross, and how we should live our lives today.