It must be our anxious care, whenever we are ourselves pressed, or see others pressed by any trial, instantly to have recourse to God. And again, in any prosperity of ourselves or others, we must not omit to testify our recognition of God’s hand by praise and thanksgiving. Lastly, we must in all our prayers carefully avoid wishing to confine God to certain circumstances, or prescribe to him the time, place, or mode of action. In like manner, we are taught by [the Lord’s] prayer not to fix any law or impose any condition upon him, but leave it entirely to him to adopt whatever course of procedure seems to him best, in respect of method, time, and place. For, before we offer up any petition for ourselves, we ask that his will may be done, and by so doing place our will in subordination to his, just as if we had laid a curb upon it, that, instead of presuming to give law to God, it may regard him as the ruler and disposer of all its wishes.
—John Calvin, The Institutes of the Christian Religion, Book III
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