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Four Daily Prayers From John Calvin

– by Justin Taylor

In 1542, John Calvin published Catéchisme de l’Eglise de Genève (Catechism of the Church of Geneva). At the end of it, in an appendix entitled “Several Godly Prayers,” he included prayers that could be prayed through the day. The following were translated by Henry Beveridge and can be found in John Calvin and Henry Beveridge, Tracts Relating to the Reformation, Volume 2 (Bellingham, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 2009), 97. I have lightly updated updated the spelling and punctuation.


Prayer before the Day

My God—my Father and Preserver—who of your goodness has watched over me during the past night, and brought me to this day, grant also that I may spend it wholly in the worship and service of your most holy deity.

Let me not think, or say, or do a single thing which tends not to your service and submission to your will, that thus all my actions may aim at your glory and the salvation of my brethren, while they are taught by my example to serve you.

And as you are giving light to this world for the purposes of external life by the rays of the sun, so enlighten my mind by the effulgence of your Spirit, that he may guide me in the way of your righteousness.

To whatever purpose I apply my mind, may the end which I ever propose to myself be your honor and service.

May I expect all happiness from your grace and goodness only.

Let me not attempt anything whatever that is not pleasing to you.

Grant also, that while I labor for the maintenance of this life, and care for the things which pertain to food and raiment, I may raise my mind above them to the blessed and heavenly life which you have promised to your children.

Be pleased also, in manifesting yourself to me as the protector of my soul as well as my body, to strengthen and fortify me against all the assaults of the devil, and deliver me from all the dangers which continually beset us in this life.

But seeing it is a small thing to have begun, unless I also persevere, I therefore entreat of you, O Lord, not only to be my guide and director for this day, but to keep me under your protection to the very end of life, that thus my whole course may be performed under your superintendence.

As I ought to make progress, do you add daily more and more to the gifts of your grace until I wholly adhere to your Son Jesus Christ, whom we justly regard as the true Sun, shining constantly in our minds.

In order to my obtaining of you these great and manifold blessings, forget, and out of your infinite mercy, forgive my offenses, as you have promised that you will do to those who call upon you in sincerity.

Grant that I may hear your voice in the morning since I have hoped in you.

Show me the way in which I should walk, since I have lifted up my soul unto you.

Deliver me from my enemies, O Lord, I have fled unto you.

Teach me to do your will, for you are my God.

Let your good Spirit conduct me to the land of uprightness.

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Four Daily Prayers from John Calvin

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