Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Pray for Two Things

A selection from a letter by John Calvin to the church in the city of Angers, located in the duchy, Anjou, in western France. Calvin often wrote letters of counsel and encouragement to churches with which he was acquainted. This church had been sorely persecuted for the gospel of Christ. The letter was written from Geneva on April 19, 1556.

We can only groan in prayer to God that he would be graciously pleased to preserve you, by the hand of that good and faithful Shepherd to whose keeping he has entrusted you... If, after having given you his support for some time, it should please him to give loose to your enemies, you have to pray him for two things: that you be not tempted beyond your power, and that in the mean time he should fortify you with such courage that you be not so dismayed by whatever may happen to you as to fall away from him. We ought to be all thoroughly convinced that our life is dear and precious to him, and that he will be our protector in all assaults. But this is not to exempt us from persecutions, by which it is his will to put to the proof, the patience of all his children.

John Calvin: Tracts and Letters, edited by Jules Bonnet and translated by David Constable, first published by the Presbyterian Board of Publication, 1858, republished by The Banner of Truth Trust, 2009, vol. 6, p. 262.

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