In the first garden “Not your will but mine” changed paradise to desert and brought man from Eden to Gethsemane. Now “Not my will but yours” brings anguish to the man who prays it but transforms the desert into the kingdom and brings man from Gethsemane to the gates of glory.
– D.A. Carson
It is men’s ignorance of themselves that makes prayer little in request: Hunger best teaches men to beg. You would be oftener on your knees if you were oftener in your hearts. Prayer would not seem so needless if you knew your needs. Know yourselves, and be prayerless if you can.
The first rule of prayer is to have our heart and mind framed as becomes those who are entering into converse with God.
– John Calvin
The one concern of the devil is to keep the saints from prayer. He fears nothing from prayerless studies, prayerless work, prayerless religion. He laughs at our toil, mocks at our wisdom, but trembles when we pray.
– Samuel Chadwick
Thou art coming to a King, Large petitions with thee bring;
For His grace and power are such None can ever ask too much.
– John Newton
In a recent time of studying and meditating on the Lord’s Prayer, I came across this wonderful piece from John Calvin on what we ought to reflect upon when we pray “our Father.”
“The exuberance of his paternal kindness he sets before us in the parable, (Luke 15:20) when the father with open arms receives the son who had gone away from him, wasted his substance in riotous living, and in all ways grievously sinned against him. He waits not till pardon is asked in words, but, anticipating the request, recognizes him afar off, runs to meet him, consoles him, and restores him to favor. By setting before us this admirable example of mildness in a man, he designed to show in how much greater abundance we may expect it from him who is not only a Father, but the best and most merciful of all fathers, however ungrateful, rebellious, and wicked sons we may be, provided only we throw ourselves upon his mercy. And the better to assure us that he is such a Father if we are Christians, he has been pleased to be called not only a Father, but our Father, as if we were pleading with him after this manner:
O Father, you are possessed of so much affection for Your children, and are so ready to forgive us. We, Your children, approach you and present our requests, fully persuaded that You have no other feelings towards us than those of a father, though we are unworthy of such a parent.”