by John Calvin (compiled by John H. Kromminga)
Go, and say to Hezekiah, Thus saith the Lord, the God of David thy father, I have heard thy prayer, I have seen thy tears; behold, I will add unto thy days fifteen years. —Isaiah 38:5
"I have heard thy prayer." Having opened the door of hope, he tells Hezekiah that God has heard his prayers. This ought greatly to encourage us to earnestness in prayer; for, although God of his own accord takes a deep interest in our salvation, and anticipates us by his kindness, not only while we are asleep, but before we were born (Rom. 9:11), yet when he testifies that all the benefits which he bestows are granted in answer to our prayers, our negligence is altogether inexcusable if, after having received such large invitations, we neglect to perform the duty of prayer.
And yet we must not imagine that prayers, to which God so graciously listens, are meritorious; but, in giving freely what he freely promised, he adds this as the crowning excellence of his kindness, in order more strongly to stimulate our faith. It is no ordinary privilege to be able to approach him freely, and in a familiar manner to lay our cares on his bosom.
If Hezekiah had not prayed, God would undoubtedly have secured that, in one way or another, some government of the kingdom should be preserved in the posterity of David; but what he would do from a regard to his truth, he says that he will give in answer to the prayers of Hezekiah, that he may acknowledge that he has obtained very abundant fruit from his faith which he exercised in prayer. —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.