Calvinists Can Learn From Finney

Written by

Calvinists are not famous for their admiration for or appreciation of Charles Finney, but here is one believer with a preference for Reformed doctrine who applauds this contribution.

I recently received a copy of Charles Simpson’s occasional Pastoral Letter and in it he had a short section on Effective Praying with reference to Finney, who made the following observations regarding effective prayer.

Regarding prayer:

1. Must be definite – specific.

2. Must be in accordance with the revealed will of God.

3. Must be in submission to the will of God.

4. Must be intense commensurate to its importance.

5. Must be born of righteous (unselfish) motives.

6. Must be in the Holy Spirit who knows the mind of God.

7. Must be persistent.

Charles Simpson’s remarks are concluded by his quoting a favourite verse of mine, namely Jeremiah 33:3, ‘Call unto me and I will answer you and I will show you great and mighty things that you know not.’

I found Charles Simpson’s Pastoral Letter deeply moving as he once again shares his passion for prayer and makes reference to another 19th century classic, namely Andrew Murray’s With Christ in the School of Prayer, in which he points out that Murray argued that we are kings and priests to God. Murray says that kings have power downward and priests have power upward prevailing with God. It is through our priestly prayer ministry that we reign with Christ. Without a powerful priestly ministry, ruling is mere ambition. The priority is to reach God, then people – not the reverse.

I love this emphasis and thank God for godly men who have lived with this principle.

This was originally posted on

Our Mission

Confluence is a place where the reformed, the charismatic, and the mission-minded converge to equip and serve the church to transform communities. Our authors are mostly leaders in the Newfrontiers family of churches.