The Power in Prayer
Comments on prayer|
By: Charles Spurgeon
I have to admit, as long as I have been a Christian, I did not hear about Charles Spurgeon until I happened upon his books when looking through the Christian book section when we stopped at a truck stop in Illinois. I asked my husband if he heard of him, and he said he did and encouraged me to buy a book. I am glad that I did, as I could not put it down, and read it in a day and a half.
He has John 16:23 on the cover, and it is a good verse for him to begin. He says that there are three stages of prayer:
1) We can ask, it can be a simple prayer, such as a child could ask for something.
2) We can seek, with the promise of hoping to find. We will know the joy of finding, and know how it was obtained.
3) And we can knock, and keep knocking until the door is opened. We will not only have the blessing, we will be able to enjoy and comprehend. Something that we need to remember is that it will succeed "according to your faith" Matt. 9:29
Jesus said that if I ask, I will receive and if I seek, I will find. If we put our trust in Him. No matter where we are, He will be there for us! We must remember to put our trust first in Jesus.
Spurgeon also talked about the ravenís cry. Luke 12:24 says that he hears the cry of the ravens and feeds them, how much more does he care for us. I was not sure what a raven was, so I asked my husband. He said that they are like crows, and boy do they cry! Spurgeon has some great insights about ravens and I would like to share some here. We must remember that when a raven dies, it is of little importance to the balance of things. It is an unclean bird, and does not have a eternal soul, yet God feeds it. We have an eternal soul. It does not matter how foul we are if we humble ourselves he will not refuse our prayers. I remember when I first felt that I needed Jesus. I felt this cry in my heart. I felt convicted of my sin and I just did not know the words to say what I felt, I still donít think I can put it into words, but I came to Jesus, and experienced pardon and peace in my heart. I thought of this when I was reading about the ravens. Ravens canít get past a cry, and still he hears. Our cries are so much more pleasing to God, and He delights to forgive. Also, ravens call without being invited. We are invited, and He will receive us freely and love us when we cry to him with our lips! The raven cries for itself. When we cry it is a work of grace in your heart of God crying within! AMEN!!!!
When we bring our petitions in prayer, it should be more than reading a written prayer from prayer books. We have to remember that we are not praying alone, even if we are alone in the room. We do have a mighty prayer partner. If you listen, there is another cry within you. When I ask God for forgiveness, another prayer is breathed "Father, forgive her" it is JESUS, JESUS!! Our petition may be poor and badly put, Jesus takes it and corrects it and offers our meager petitions to God.
Sometimes, I have to admit when I have prayed for something, I have wanted to look for signs, or feelings. Spurgeon reminded me that I must rest on the finished work of Jesus.
Also, we must have order and argument in prayer. Godís children run home when the storm comes on. Sometimes we will lift prayers without the comfortable presence of God, such as Job did. It is then that we must lift our prayers with a double zeal to find God. We must pay attention to what we are praying. Spurgeon likens it to going into a court of law without stating the petition. We must remember to offer our prayers with holy carefulness. Not falling out of bed, and not considering what it is we are saying. We should not get stuck on arrangement when praying. We should pray as though we were speaking to a friend, led by divine grace into a truly humble state.
We should not get into the habit of repeating our prayers like school lessons. We should recognize that we have no right to what we are seeking, and accept it as a gift of grace. Being distinct in our prayers will bring us to greater distinctness of our minds. We should keep to the present need. Let your heart be fervent!! Look at the blessing you desire to see if it is fitting to ask. Sometimes if we really think about it I am sure we will find that our motive is not Christ-like. Sometimes, I have to admit I get a little selfish in my prayers, and only want ease, comfort or a million dollars. We must remember not my will, but thy will. We must think, will it glorify God.
We must also remember that we can use arguments in our prayers. It is for our benefit, and not Godís. We can use His attributes; Justice, mercy, faithfulness, wisdom, long suffering, and tenderness of God. We can also remember the history of his people, we must rely on his promise. And, we can also remember that our God is an unchanging God. Remember too that he is our true God, Jesus suffered and died for us, and pleads for us with cries and moans.
We must also remember to ask ourselves if we are praising or complaining. We must let the Holy Spirit lead us. We must humble ourselves before God and confess, repent and believe him. He will not pardon us if we will not confess and forsake our sin. Grace is not commanded by our position or condition. When the Lord works and no man can hinder. If He works not, we labor in vain (Psalms 127:1).
We must thank God when he cleans us out. Anything of our own needs to be swept out, and we must have a bare cupboard. I remember one time when I was a teen, I went to before God and was reminded that I was not very nice toward my grandmother. Try as hard as I could, I could not pray. I felt that I needed to apologize to her. I went and did that, my grandmother did not remember what it was I had done, but when I went before the Lord the hindrance was gone, and the blessing came. We have to remember that we are poor and needy and that we have to empty ourselves of all weights and self sufficiency. It is only then that we can proceed to prayer. We also need to remember that we should expect an answer!
We need to come to Him with an urgent soul. Keep praying and be persistent! While we live and desire mercy, it is not too late to seek it. Do not let the devil tempt you by saying that He will never hear and help you. As a church we need to throw ourselves upon the strength of God, and know that we can do nothing without him. If we are weak, we must hold on to Him all the more. The blessing that costs us the most prayer will be worth the most. It will have the most far reaching blessing!
The Throne of Grace: Not the utterance of words; it is not alone the feeling of desires; but the advance of the desires of God. The work of the holy spirit in our lives. We must remember lowly reverence and not get stuck on our pride. We need to worship in humility.
Joyfulness: Is your countenance sad? Be thankful! We are favored to come before the King clothed in love. He can comfort us!
We do not pray to God to instruct Him as to what to do, and dictate the way to Him that He is to do it. If we do, we demonstrate that we are still in the flesh, and we have to consider ourselves guilty of carnal motives. Not my will, but thy will! We must ask ourselves if it will dishonor God.
Remember to have enlarged expectations. Do we have a narrow faith? Kings do not give pennies and nickels, He gives gold. He can give "exceeding abundantly above all we ask or even think" Eph. 3:20.
Who would ever doubt a king? Trust our Father, as a child trusts a father with unstaggering faith.
When we are in the courts of God, before the king, bow our knees to Him. His throne is set up for the dispensation of Grace, His purpose and gifts are grace. He overlooks our faults, THANK THE LORD!!!!! Because of His grace He overlooks our faults! Our faults will not prevent the success of our prayers!!!!! God delights in broken and contrite hearts!!!!! He will interpret our desires to the things we ought to seek. And He will teach you your wants though as yet you do not know them. He will suggest to you his promises so that you will be able to plead them. His throne of majesty that supports itself by streaming forth like a fountain with floods of good things!!! It is so freely given isnít it!! He knows our needs so much more than we do, Praise God!
His grace is enthroned: Oh, come and bow before it; come and adore the infinite mercy and grace of God, doubt not, halt not, hesitate not. Grace is reigning, God is Love.
Last week we were driving though Iowa, we looked up and saw the huge storm clouds. They looked so big and powerful. We saw the crackling of the lightening, and heard the thunder. I looked at my husband and commented that I wondered how anyone could look at that and not think that anything but God could create that. Then we looked to the east, and saw the most beautiful, bright rainbow either of us had ever seen. WHAT A SPECIAL BLESSING, GODíS PROMISE!!! Spurgeon saw a rainbow around the throne.
Exclamatory Prayer: Spurgeon says it hurls a dart and then is done. Not a knock, knock, knock, but a concentration of many knocks into one. It is used in times of excitement, and how much the mind can get through so much in a short time. They are prayers we pray intuitively and we never forget we prayed it. We remember it because it is so special. In the last month, I can testify that for 7 days I prayed exclamatory prayers, and praise God he answered. They were all because of bad weather that we were encountering. The first, if you watched the national news, you saw the effects of a tornado that hit the tiny town of Nashua, IA., and the town of Waterloo, IA. We were there. We stopped for coffee in Waterloo, and got a few miles out of town. We were empty and we saw the clouds form and darken. We got to Nashua, and Glen asked me if I wanted to stop or go on. All I can remember is saying to the Lord, go or stop. I felt we should keep going. We got to the other side of town and started out, and saw a wall cloud. It stretched for it seemed miles, and I was thinking oh no. We got about to the next town when the wind stopped and it got still. Then came the warning that the tornado was all ready over Nashua. PRAISE GOD WE DID NOT STOP, AND HE KEPT US SAFE!!! We were only 7 miles away from it. In the next 7 days, the storms came before us or after us. We were close but not in it. Two times it was clear around us, but a few miles away clouds, and lighting and tornado warnings. The last day was a biggie too, you may remember it too, as the tornadoes ravaged Iowa, we were going to Minneapolis, Minnesota, and had just left home from York, Nebraska, where we live, to pick up a load in Lincoln, 45 miles away. We stopped at the truck stop just out of town, when it came over the radio that a severe storm was north of York, heading northeast We thought that we were going to miss it, but it got blacker and blacker, the wind came up, and we had to slow down to keep on the road. I knew by looking at the clouds that it was going to drop a tornado, and I rushed another prayer to our Lord. We got into Lincoln, and had just got to our pick-up, when a warning came of a tornado heading for Lincoln, another prayer breathed, and praise God it went around! It was at that time that Iowa was hit hard. We took off, and just missed it. Not coincidence, THE PRECIOUS GRACE OF GOD!!!!
Spurgeon says that exclamatory prayer can and should be used at all times, anywhere, and many times a day. When we feel anger, we can breath a prayer to heaven to help in acting on it. It also checks confidence in yourself, and helps show dependence on God. The Holy Spirit gives these prayers to us.
Spurgeon says and I agree "Pray and expect Gods blessings"!!!!!!
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