In today’s blog, Calvin’s second rule, or principle, of prayer is presented and discussed.
2. Spiritual humility. Calvin described his second rule for prayer as “the sense of need that excludes all unreality.” This spiritual humility includes both (a) a strong sense of our dependence on God, in general, and (b) a readiness to recognize and repent of our sins, in particular. Pastor Keller adds that we need to be ruthlessly honest in confronting our faults and weaknesses.
As author Francis Spufford tells us in Unapologetic: Why, Despite Everything, Christianity Can Still Make Surprising Emotional Sense, we need to drop all pretense and flee from phoniness:
“[You are] a being whose wants make no sense, don’t harmonize, whose desires deep down are discordantly arranged, so that you truly want to possess and your truly want not to at the very same time. You’re equipped, you realize, more for farce (or even tragedy) than happy endings. . . . You’re human, and that’s where we live, that’s our normal experience.”
Pastor Keller notes that counselors will tell us that only the character flaws we won’t admit will destroy us. We aren’t seeking God with all our heart if we smugly blame others for our problems rather than taking personal responsibility for them. Confession and repentance are crucial to true prayer. Prayer both requires and produces humility.
Today’s question: How has your dependence on God increased during your transformational journey? Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: Restful trust, yet confident hope