Timothy Keller pairs and considers Calvin’s third and fourth rules of prayer in today’s blog.
3 and 4. Restful trust, yet confident hope. Calvin’s third rule is that we should have a submissive trust in God, trusting in Him even when things aren’t going the way we would wish them to go. Prayer enables us to bring our hearts to trust God’s wisdom, not our own. Only through prayer are we able to leave all our needs and desires in God’s hands.
The fourth rule is that we are to pray with confidence and hope. This seems to contradict the third rule. If God’s will is never wrong and submission to His will is so important, why should we pray for anything with fervor and confidence? Calvin states why the contradiction is apparent, not real.
We pray because God has invited us to do so and because He’s our good and loving Father. Furthermore, God often waits to give us a blessing until we’ve prayed for it. Good things that we don’t ask for usually will be interpreted by our hearts as the fruits of our own labors. Finally, God won’t give us anything contrary to His will. As Pastor Keller concludes, that enables us to pray confidently because God won’t give us everything we want.
Today’s question: Does “restful trust, yet confident hope” describe your prayer life? If not, how can you be intentional in attaining that trust and hope? Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: “The rule of grace”