“Pray like Spurgeon”, from the Spurgeon Center (Bold Prayer, God’s Promises, Beloveds at the Mercy Seat)

9 Ways To Pray Like Charles Spurgeon

In July 17, 1887 Augustus Strong and John D. Rockefeller visited Charles Spurgeon at his home in London.

After two hours, the leading Baptist theologian and the wealthy U.S. tycoon uncovered the secret of Spurgeon’s ministry: “He seemed to be a man of prayer” (Crerar Douglas, Autobiography of Augustus Hopkins Strong, 300).

Spurgeon’s prayers made you feel “the throbbing of that mighty heart” (C. H. Spurgeon’s Prayers, vii).

Spurgeon once said, “Prayer has become as essential to me as the heaving of my lungs, and the beating of my pulse” (MTP 49:476).

Prayer was the underbelly of Spurgeon’s ministry.

“Let me know the day when you give up praying for me,” he said, “for then I must give up preaching” (Autobiography 2:335).

Spurgeon teaches us how to pray. Here are nine ways to pray like Charles Spurgeon.

1. Grapple with God.

“It is on our knees that we overcome” (MTP 7:94).

“Unanswered petitions are not unheard” (MTP 13:74).

“That which is gained speedily by a single prayer is sometimes only a second rate blessing; but that which is gained after many a desperate tug, and many an awful struggle, is a full weighted and precious blessing. . . . The blessing which costs us the most prayer will be worth the most” (MTP 17:612).

2. Ask boldly! You are the beloved.

“Our God not only hears prayer but also loves to hear it” (Morning and Evening, November 3, AM, italics in the original).

“Do not let us go to God as though we were strangers, or as though he were unwilling to give—we are greatly beloved” (MTP 13:82).

“It would be of no use to knock at a wall, but you may wisely knock at a door, for it is arranged for opening” (MTP 29:306).

“God keeps a file for our prayers—they are not blown away by the wind, they are treasured in the King’s archives” (Morning and Evening, March 29, PM).

3. Hold God to his promises.

“He can reverse nature, but he cannot reverse his own nature, and he must do this before he forebear to hear and answer prayer” (MTP 7:93).

“A true prayer is the echo of the eternal purpose” (MTP 48:487).

“The Spirit of God leads us to desire exactly what God has decreed” (MTP 48:487).

“The best praying man is the man most believingly familiar with the promises of God. After all, prayer which is not based on a promise has no true foundation” (MTP 34:21).

4. Pray fervently when you don’t feel it.

“If you do not pray except when you feel like praying, you will not pray much, nor pray when you most need it. My brethren, when you do not feel like praying, you ought to pray all the more, and go to the Lord to help you to pray” (MTP 35:583).

“We must get rid of the icicles that hang about our lips. We must ask the Lord to thaw the ice-caves of our soul and to make our hearts like a furnace of fire heated seven times hotter” (MTP 13:79).

“We cannot commune with God, who is a consuming fire, if there is no fire in our prayers. . . . Prayers which are filled with doubt, are requests for refusal” (MTP 28:547).

5. Pray privately.

“The less prayer is observed on earth, the more it is observed in heaven” (MTP 30:136).

“You are no Christian if you do not pray. A prayerless soul is a Christless soul” (MTP 48:483).

6. Pray patiently.

“When prayer is long in the answering it will be all the sweeter in the receiving, like fruit which is well ripened by hanging longer on the tree” (MTP 20:306).

“Prayer does move the arm that moves the world” (MTP 41:524).

“The act of prayer is blessed, the habit of prayer is more blessed, but the spirit of prayer is the most blessed of all” (MTP 29:532).

7. Measure prayer by weight, not length.

“Short prayers are long enough. . . . Not length but strength is desirable” (Morning and Evening, January 14, AM).

“Some brethren pray by the yard; but true prayer is measured by weight, and not by length. A single groan before God may have more fulness of prayer in it than a fine oration of great length” (MTP 34:16).

8. Groan your way to God.

“The essence of prayer lies in the heart drawing near to God: and it can do that without words” (MTP 24:214).

“It may suit a teacher of English composition to criticize your sentences, but God thinks much more of your desires than of the words in which they are expressed. It may be natural for a scholar to consider the accuracy of your terms, but God specially marks the earnestness of your soul” (MTP 48:483).

“I would sooner see you eloquent with God than with men” (An All-Round Ministry, 314).

“A sigh, a sob, is the most you can get out. . . . The inward moanings of a broken heart are music in the ears of the Infinite Jehovah, and he accepteth the sincere prayers of his people” (MTP 60:512).

“Our poor prayers are blotted, and blurred, and stained with sin, but our great High Priest sprinkles them with his own most precious blood, and so purifies them, and then, with his own dear hand, he lays them before the mercy-seat, and for his sake they are sure to be accepted” (MTP 48:487-88).

9. Pray always.

“Souls abiding in Jesus open the day with prayer; prayer surrounds them as an atmosphere all day long; at night they fall asleep praying. I have known them even [to] dream a prayer” (MTP 34:15).

“Prayer is now as much a necessity of our spiritual life as breath is of our natural life” (MTP 34:15).

“These are dark days, but you can bring on a spiritual summertime if you know how to pray” (MTP 48:491).

“Continue, then, in prayer. Never let your fire go out” (MTP 7:92).

A Prayerful Plea from Spurgeon
“My dear friends, wait upon God much in prayer, and you have the promise that he will do greater things for you than you know of” (Spurgeon’s Prayers, 30).

Source: Spurgeon.org

From LW: Enjoy these Resources and Links on Prayer to learn more!

Resources on Prayer~

“The Glory of God”, J.I.Packer expounds on Jonathan Edward’s treatise (Enjoying God, Hope, Heavenly Joy, Grace)

The Glory of God

J.I.Packer expounds on Jonathan Edwards’ treatise on The Glory of God

Edwards inherited a dispute among the learned: Was God’s goal in creation his own glory, as Reformed theology maintained, or man’s happiness, as Arminians and Deists thought? In his Dissertation on the End for Which God Created the World, posthumously published, Edwards resolved this question with startling brilliance. As his son, Jonathan Edwards, Jr., put it:

It was said that, as God is a benevolent being . . . he could not but form creatures for the purpose of making them happy. Many passages of Scripture were quoted in support of this opinion. On the other hand, numerous and very explicit declarations of Scripture were produced to prove that God made all things for his own glory. Mr. Edwards was the first, who clearly showed, that both these were the ultimate end of the creation . . . and that they are really one and the same thing. (Sereno E. Dwight, “Memoirs,” in Works, 1:cxcii)

Edwards clinched his case on this by surveying the biblical use of the word “glory” (Hebrew, kabod; Greek, LXX and NT, doxa). Having stated correctly that etymologically kabod implies “weight, greatness, abundance” and in use often conveys the thought of “God in fullness,” Edwards traces the term thus:

Sometimes it is used to signify what is internal, inherent, or in the possession of a person [i.e., glory that belongs to someone]: and sometimes for emanation, exhibition, or communication of this internal glory [i.e., glory that appears to someone]: and sometimes for the knowledge, or sense of these [communications], in those to whom the exhibition or communication is made [i.e., glory that is seen, or discerned, by someone]; or an expression of this knowledge, sense, or effect [i.e., glory that is given to someone, by praise and thanks in joy and love]. (Edwards, “The End for Which God Created the World,” in Works, 1:116)

And the conclusion he offers — on the basis of both biblical texts that speak of glory and of glorifying in these four distinct though connected ways and also analytical argument surrounding this exegesis — is that God’s internal and intrinsic glory consists of his knowledge (omniscience with wisdom) plus his holiness (spontaneous virtuous love, linked with hatred of sin) plus his joy (supreme endless happiness); and that his glory (wise, holy, happy love) flows out from him, like water from a fountain, in loving spontaneity (grace), first in creation and then in redemption, both of which are so set forth to us so as to prompt praise; and that in our responsive, Spirit-led glorifying of God, God glorifies and satisfies himself, achieving that which was his purpose from the start.

The chief end of man, as the famous first answer of the Westminster Shorter Catechism memorably puts it, is to glorify God and enjoy him forever. God so made us that in praising, thanking, loving, and serving him, we find our own supreme happiness and enjoyment of God in a way that otherwise we would not and could not do. We reach our highest enjoyment of God in and by glorifying him, and we glorify him supremely in and by enjoying him. In fact, we enjoy him most when we glorify him most, and vice versa. And God’s single-yet-complex end, now in redemption as it was in creation, is his own happiness and joy in and through ours.

His great goal here and now is to glorify himself through glorifying, and being glorified by, rational human beings who out of their fallenness come to saving faith in Jesus Christ. Thus the emanation (outflow) of divine glory in the form of creative and redemptive action results in a remanation (returning flow) of glory to God in the form of celebratory devotion. And so God’s goal for himself (Father, Son, and Spirit, the “they” who are “he” within the Triune unity), the goal that includes his goal for all Christian humankind, is achieved by means of a singly unitary process, which itself is ongoing and unending.

“We reach our highest enjoyment of God in and by glorifying him, and we glorify him supremely in and by enjoying him.”

The unimaginable endlessness of this reciprocal sequencing that is in truth the end for which God created the world can only be indicated formulaically and analogically (to use a couple of non-Edwardsean terms).

This is done for us in a normative way in Revelation 21, and C.S. Lewis most tellingly did it at the close of his final Narnia story, The Last Battle, where the children have been brought through a rail crash into the real Narnia that is to be their home forever. The key sentences are these:

Then Aslan [the Christ-like lion] turned to them and said:

“You do not yet look so happy as I mean you to be . . . all of you are (as you used to call it in the Shadowlands) dead. The term is over; the holidays have begun. The dream is ended: this is the morning.”

. . . We can most truly say that they all lived happily ever after. But for them it was only the beginning of the real story. All their life in this world and all their adventures in Narnia had only been the cover and the title page: now at last they were beginning Chapter One of the Great Story which no one on earth has read: which goes on for ever: in which every chapter is better than the one before. (Lewis, The Last Battle[Penguin, 1964], 165)

This picks up exactly, in mythical-parabolic terms, the point that Edwards, in his more prosaic way, was concerned to make. Amy Plantinga Pauw capsules it as follows:

Because “heaven is a progressive state,” the heavenly joy of the saints, and even of the triune God, will forever continue to increase. . . . Saints can look forward to an unending expansion of their knowledge and love of God, as their capacities are stretched by what they receive . . . there is no intrinsic limit to their joy in heaven. . . . As the saints continue to increase in knowledge and love of God, God receives more and more glory. This heavenly reciprocity will never cease, because the glory God deserves is infinite, and the capacity of the saints to perceive God’s glory and praise him for it is ever increasing. (Pauw, “The Supreme Harmony of All”: The Trinitarian Theology of Jonathan Edwards[Eerdmans, 2002], 180-181)

Here, finally, is how Edwards himself, in his rather more severe and abstract manner, sums the matter up. (“The creature” in what follows is the believer.)

And though the emanation of God’s fulness, intended in the creation, is to the creature as its object; and though the creature is the subject of the fulness communicated, which is the creature’s good; yet it does not necessarily follow that, even in doing so, God did not make himself his end. It comes to the same thing. God’s respect to the creature’s good, and his respect to himself, is not a divided respect; but both are united in one, as the happiness of the creature aimed at is happiness in union with himself. . . . The more happiness the greater union. . . . And as the happiness will be increasing to eternity, the union will become more and more strict [i.e., closely bound] and perfect; nearer and more like to that between God the Father and the Son; who are so united, that their interest is perfectly one. . . .

Let the most perfect union with God be represented by something at an infinite height above us; and the eternally increasing union of the saints with God, by something that is ascending constantly towards that infinite height . . . and that is to continue thus to move to all eternity. (Edwards, “The End for Which God Created the World,” 120)

The two-way street of this unceasing process, says Edwards, embodies and expresses the true end for which God created the world: namely, the endless advancement of his glory, in union with us, through the endless advancement of ours, in union with him.

Those who have in any measure tasted the refreshment and joy of heart that flow from faith in, friendship with, and worship of the holy Three (or shall I say the holy One, or One-in-Three) will latch on to Edwards’s thinking here as a complete answer to any who fancy that the Christian heaven would be static and dull, and will themselves look forward to the awaiting glory with ever-growing eagerness.

Resource: J.I. Packer

from the book:

“A God-Entranced Vision of All Things”

The Legacy of Jonathan Edwards by John Piper and Justin Tayor

“On Christian Encouragement”, from L.Willows; Scripture and Quotes (Courage, comforted, Walk of Faith)

When we encourage, it is taught that we are literally putting courage into someone. In scripture, the Encourager is someone who comes alongside of another and gives them comfort as well as strength. Encouragement itself nurtures patience and kindness as in as in 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 –Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Encouragement is like water to our thirsty spirits as we walk in the journey of faith. We need the companionship of one another; to be lifted up by kind words, a listening heart and the gifts of time, patience and most especially gospel love. When we are compassionate during difficult times with one another it builds “muscles of courage” in one another that will strengthen the bonds of love. What are the muscles of courage? They are acts of bravery.

The Biblical definition of courage is defined as being motivated by the heart to do something brave. The Biblical definition of Encouragement is the act of giving hope. An Encourager, then is one that motivates others to have hope so that they are motivated from their hearts to be brave.

Got Questions.com describes that without encouragement, hardship becomes meaningless, and our will to go on wanes. The prophet Elijah struggled with discouragement (1 Kings 19:3-10), and so do we. It is important to remember that “our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against . . . the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms” (Ephesians 6:12). This truth makes encouragement all the more important. It is not just that we face the world’s displeasure; we are caught in the crosshairs of a spiritual battle. When we are encouraged in Christ, we have strength to put on our spiritual armor and remain steadfast (see Ephesians 6:10-18).

Even in places where Christians do not experience overt persecution or hatred, we all know that life can be difficult. Discouragement is not an uncommon human experience. At times, recognizing that there is meaning in the seemingly inconsequential things we do seems next to impossible. We may want to give up. Yet He who calls us is faithful, and He gives us the power to be faithful, too (1 Corinthians 1:9).

Christian Quotes on Encouragement

 “So never lose an opportunity of urging a practical beginning, however small, for it is wonderful how often in such matters the mustard-seed germinates and roots itself.” —Florence Nightingale

“Discernment is God’s call to intercession, never to faultfinding.”–Corrie Ten Bloom

“I would go to the deeps a hundred times to cheer a downcast spirit. It is good for me to have been afflicted, that I might know how to speak a word in season to one that is weary.”–Charles Spurgeon

“Keep your face to the sunshine and you cannot see a shadow.” —Helen Keller

“Believers, look up. Take courage. The angels are nearer than you think.” Billy Graham

“Honest and courageous people have very little to say about either their courage or their honesty.” Hosea Ballou

“There was a castle called Doubting Castle, the owner whereof was Giant Despair.” John Bunyan

“The principal act of courage is to endure and withstand dangers doggedly rather than to attack them.” Thomas Aquinas

“Courage is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at the testing point.” —C.S. Lewis