Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. Hebrews 4:16
Let us consider our Saviour’s instruction to ‘pray that you do not enter temptation’. Prayer is a means to preserve us from it. All men that know anything of prayer, know what glorious things it can do, yet half is not told of its excellence, power, and effectiveness to avoid temptation. Prayer casts our souls into a military posture of opposition to temptation (Eph. 6:18). Without prayer, the armour of God will be of no value to stand against Satan’s strategies. Consider what weight Paul lays on prayer when he says ‘Praying always’. He means at all times and seasons. We should always be ready and prepared for the discharge of this important duty (Luke 18:1). Paul also exhorts, ‘with a all prayer and supplication in the Spirit’. We are to pray with desires for God, that are suited to our condition, and according to his will, in which we are assisted by the Holy Spirit. We are to be watchful in it, so we are not diverted by anything whatsoever, and we are to pray with all perseverance to the very end, that we might stand firm. The soul thus engaged is in a healthy posture. Without prayer, this important work will not be accomplished. If we do not abide in prayer, we shall abide in cursed temptations. With this in mind – abide in prayer with this express purpose: that we do not enter into temptation. Let this be one part of our daily wrestling with god: that he might preserve our souls, and keep our hearts and our ways. Pray that his good and wise providence will order our ways and affairs, that no pressing temptation might befall us. Pray that he would give us diligence, carefulness, and watchfulness over all our ways, that we shall be delivered when others are held fast with the cords of their own folly.
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.