by John Calvin (compiled by John H. Kromminga)
These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brethren. —Acts 1:14
Luke expresses two things which are proper to true prayer, namely that they persisted and that they were all of one mind. This was an exercise of their patience, in that Christ made them wait a while, when he could have immediately sent the Holy Spirit; as God often delays, and as it were suffers us to languish, that he may accustom us to persevere.
The hastiness of our petition is a corrupt, yea hurtful plague. Wherefore it is no marvel if God sometimes corrects it. In the meantime he exercises us to be constant in prayer. Therefore if we would not pray in vain, let us not be wearied with the delay of time.
As touching the unity of their minds, it is set against that scattering abroad which fear had caused before. Yet, notwithstanding, we may easily gather, even by this, how needful a thing it is to pray generally, in that Christ commands every one to pray for the whole body, and generally for all men, as it were, in the person of all men: Our Father, Give us this day, etc.
Whence comes this unity of their tongues but from one Spirit? Wherefore when Paul would prescribe to Jews and Gentiles a right form of prayer, he removes far away all division and dissension. That we may, says he, being all of one mind, glorify God (Rom. 15:6).
And truly it is needful that we be brethren and agree together like brethren, that we may rightly call God Father. —Commentaries
John Calvin was the premier theologian of the Reformation, but also a pious and godly Christian pastor who endeavored throughout his life to point men and women to Christ. We are grateful to Reformation Heritage Books for permission to use John Calvin's Thine Is My Heart as our daily devotional for 2013 on the OPC Web site. You can currently obtain a printed copy of that book from Reformation Heritage Books.
Dr. Joel Beeke, who is editorial director of Reformation Heritage Books, has this to say:
"Calvin shows us the piety of a Reformed theologian who speaks from the heart. Having tasted the goodness and grace of God in Jesus Christ, he pursued piety by seeking to know and do God’s will every day. He communed with Christ, practicing repentance, self-denial, and cross-bearing. Moreover, his theology worked itself out in heart-felt, Christ-honoring piety. The selections of this devotional bear this out, and hopefully will be used by God to direct pious hearts in our own day."
These devotional readings from John Calvin were compiled by John H. Kromminga. Be sure to read his "Introduction" to John Calvin's Thine Is My Heart.