“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~

“Praying The Lord’s Prayer,” from Tim Keller’s book on Prayer (Prayer Resources, Christian Resources)

Tim Keller’s notable book on Prayer, experiencing awe and intimacy with God offers the following treasured notes on praying the Lord’s Prayer explaining that…

  1. None of our three master teachers of prayer, Augustine, Luther, and Calvin, developed their instruction primarily based on their own experiences. In each case, what they believed and practiced regarding prayer grew mainly out of their understanding of the ultimate master class in prayer—the Lord’s Prayer in Matthew 6:9–13, in the heart of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount.
  2. The Lord’s Prayer may be the single set of words spoken more often than any other in the history of the world. Jesus Christ gave it to us as the key to unlock all the riches of prayer. Yet it is an untapped resource, partially because it is so very familiar.
  3.  Jesus is saying, as it were, “Wouldn’t you like to be able to come face-to-face with the Father and King of the universe every day, to pour out your heart to him, and to sense him listening to and loving you?” We say, of course, yes. Jesus responds, “It’s all in the Lord’s Prayer.”
  4. How do we overcome the deadly peril of familiarity? One of the best ways is to listen to these three great mentors, who plumbed the depths of the prayer through years of reflection and practice.

“Our Father Who Art in Heaven”

  • Calvin explains that to call God “Father” is to pray in Jesus’ name. “Who would break forth into such rashness as to claim for himself the honor of a son of God unless we had been adopted as children of grace in Christ?”
  • Luther also believed the address was a call to not plunge right into talking to God but to first recollect our situation and realize our standing in Christ before we proceed into prayer.
  • Calvin agrees that “by the great sweetness of this name [Father] he frees us from all distrust.”

“Hallowed Be Thy Name”

  • A seeming problem of logic, expressed by Luther. “What are we praying for when we ask that His name become holy?
  • Luther, who joins Augustine when he says it is a prayer that God “be glorified among all nations as you are glorified among us.”
  • To “hallow” God’s name is not merely to live righteous lives but to have a heart of grateful joy toward God—and even more, a wondrous sense of his beauty. We do not revere his name unless he “captivate[s] us with wonderment for him.”

“Thy Kingdom Come”

  • This is the cause of all our human problems, since we were created to serve him, and when we serve other things in God’s place, all spiritual, psychological, cultural, and even material problems ensue. Therefore, we need his kingdom to “come.” Calvin believed there were two ways God’s kingdom comes—through the Spirit, who “corrects our desires,” and through the Word of God, which “shapes our thoughts.”
  • This, then, is a “Lordship” petition: It is asking God to extend his royal power over every part of our lives—emotions, desires, thoughts, and commitments.
  • We are asking God to so fully rule us that we want to obey him with all our hearts and with joy.
  • To pray “thy kingdom come” is to “yearn for that future life” of justice and peace.

“Thy Will Be Done”

  • Unless we are profoundly certain God is our Father, we will never be able to say “Thy will be done.”
  • Only if we trust God as Father can we ask for grace to bear our troubles with patience and grace.
  • This is the one part of the Lord’s Prayer Jesus himself prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane, under circumstances far more crushing than any of us will ever face. He submitted to his Father’s will rather than following his own desires, and it saved us. That’s why we can trust him.
  • Calvin adds that to pray “thy will be done” is to submit not only our wills to God but even our feelings, so that we do not become despondent, bitter, and hardened by the things that befall us.
  • The beginning of prayer is all about God. We are not to let our own needs and issues dominate prayer; rather, we are to give pride of place to praising and honoring him, to yearning to see his greatness and to see it acknowledged everywhere, and to aspiring to full love and obedience.
  • First, because it heals the heart of its self-centeredness.

“Give Us This Day Our Daily Bread”

  • Augustine reminds us that “daily bread” is a metaphor for necessities rather than luxuries.
  • For Luther, then, to pray for our daily bread is to pray for a prosperous and just social order.

“Forgive Us Our Debts as We Forgive Our Debtors”

  • The fifth petition concerns our relationships, both with God and others.
  • In the presence of God everyone must duck his head and come into the joy of forgiveness only through the low door of humility.
  • If regular confession does not produce an increased confidence and joy in your life, then you do not understand the salvation by grace, the essence of the faith.
  • Jesus tightly links our relationship with God to our relationship with others.
  • Unresolved bitterness is a sign that we are not right with God.
  • It also means that if we are holding a grudge, we should see the hypocrisy of seeking forgiveness from God for sins of our own.

“Lead Us Not into Temptation”

  • Temptation in the sense of being tried and tested is not only inevitable but desirable. The Bible talks of suffering and difficulty as a furnace in which many impurities of soul are “burned off” and we come to greater self-knowledge, humility, durability, faith, and love. However, to “enter into temptation,” as Jesus termed it (Matt 26:41), is to entertain and consider the prospect of giving in to sin.

“Deliver Us from Evil”

  • Calvin combined this phrase with “lead us not into temptation” and called it the sixth and last petition. Augustine and Luther, however, viewed “deliver us from evil” as a separate, seventh petition.
  • This seventh petition is for protection from evil outside us, from malignant forces in the world, especially our enemies who wish to do us harm.

“For Thine Is the Kingdom, the Power, and the Glory Forever”

  • Augustine does not mention it because it was not in most earlier manuscripts of the Bible or in the Latin Vulgate. Luther does not treat it.
  • Calvin, while noting that “this is not extant in the Latin versions,” believes that “it is so appropriate to this place that it ought not to be omitted.”
  • After descending into our needs, troubles, and limitations, we return to the truth of God’s complete sufficiency.

Like Luther in A Simple Way to Pray, Calvin insists that the Lord’s Prayer does not bind us to its particular form of words but rather to its content and basic pattern.

The Lord’s Prayer is a summary of all other prayers, providing essential guidance on emphasis and topics, on purpose and even spirit.

Prayer is therefore not a strictly private thing. As much as we can, we should pray with others both formally in gathered worship and informally. Why? If the substance of prayer is to continue a conversation with God, and if the purpose of it is to know God better, then this can happen best in community. By praying with friends, you will be able to hear and see facets of Jesus that you have not yet perceived.

Links for further reading include:  (see “Prayer, Breathing God” page for more resources)

“The Power of Prayer”, from R.A. Torrey (united prayer, worship, God who Loves)

Rejoice in Hope, Be Patient in Tribulation, Be Constant in Prayer by John Piper

Draw Near to God in Prayer: John Calvin on The Definition and Effectiveness of Prayer, by Dr. Joel R. Beeke

Draw Near to God Through Prayer; John Calvin’s “Rules of Prayer”

Rejoice in Hope, Be Patient in Tribulation, Be Constant in Prayer by John Piper

Conforming to God’s Holiness from Ligonier Ministries of RC Sproul

Is Anything Too Hard For The Lord? Sermon from C.H.Spurgeon, 1888 Metropolitan Tabernacle

Draw Near to God in Prayer: John Calvin on The Definition and Effectiveness of

Prayer, by Dr. Joel R. Beeke

More Resources for Prayer Enrichment:

Pray in The Spirit from Martin Lloyd Jones

The Spirit’s Intercession from Ligonier.org

Intercessory Prayer from The Gospel Coalition

See Jesus.net (Paul Miller on Prayer, Podcast)

C.S. Lewis Institute: A Season of Prayer- Prayer Resources & Links

Pray the Scriptures: Ligonier Ministries

Praying using Scripture; The Gospel Coalition

Pray The Bible; John Piper

Intercession of Gods Promises in Prayer from Desiring God; a book

A Teaching Series on Praying The Lord’s Prayer from R.C. Sproul

Core Christianity on The Lord’s Prayer

Theology of Prayer

A Puritan Mind

Puritan Prayers Download

Praying the Psalms from the Gospel Coalition

The Gospel Coalition; on Prayer

Singing the Psalms with Seedbed

Singing the Psalms with ChurchWorks

Learn about Jesus

The Gospel Coalition.org

Connection Points

About Jesus from Christianity.com

Scripture on Faith in Jesus

Resources to Know God from CRU

Spurgeon on Knowing Christ

Eternal Perspective Ministries

Peace with God.net

Knowing and Doing Podcast (C.S Lewis Institute)

“Praying The Lord’s Prayer,” from Tim Keller’s book on Prayer (Prayer & Worship Resources-Live Prayer; Love God’s Mission)

Tim Keller’s notable book on Prayer, experiencing awe and intimacy with God offers the following treasured notes on praying the Lord’s Prayer explaining that…

  1. None of our three master teachers of prayer, Augustine, Luther, and Calvin, developed their instruction primarily based on their own experiences. In each case, what they believed and practiced regarding prayer grew mainly out of their understanding of the ultimate master class in prayer—the Lord’s Prayer in Matthew 6:9–13, in the heart of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount.
  2. The Lord’s Prayer may be the single set of words spoken more often than any other in the history of the world. Jesus Christ gave it to us as the key to unlock all the riches of prayer. Yet it is an untapped resource, partially because it is so very familiar.
  3.  Jesus is saying, as it were, “Wouldn’t you like to be able to come face-to-face with the Father and King of the universe every day, to pour out your heart to him, and to sense him listening to and loving you?” We say, of course, yes. Jesus responds, “It’s all in the Lord’s Prayer.”
  4. How do we overcome the deadly peril of familiarity? One of the best ways is to listen to these three great mentors, who plumbed the depths of the prayer through years of reflection and practice.

“Our Father Who Art in Heaven”

  • Calvin explains that to call God “Father” is to pray in Jesus’ name. “Who would break forth into such rashness as to claim for himself the honor of a son of God unless we had been adopted as children of grace in Christ?”
  • Luther also believed the address was a call to not plunge right into talking to God but to first recollect our situation and realize our standing in Christ before we proceed into prayer.
  • Calvin agrees that “by the great sweetness of this name [Father] he frees us from all distrust.”

“Hallowed Be Thy Name”

  • A seeming problem of logic, expressed by Luther. “What are we praying for when we ask that His name become holy?
  • Luther, who joins Augustine when he says it is a prayer that God “be glorified among all nations as you are glorified among us.”
  • To “hallow” God’s name is not merely to live righteous lives but to have a heart of grateful joy toward God—and even more, a wondrous sense of his beauty. We do not revere his name unless he “captivate[s] us with wonderment for him.”

“Thy Kingdom Come”

  • This is the cause of all our human problems, since we were created to serve him, and when we serve other things in God’s place, all spiritual, psychological, cultural, and even material problems ensue. Therefore, we need his kingdom to “come.” Calvin believed there were two ways God’s kingdom comes—through the Spirit, who “corrects our desires,” and through the Word of God, which “shapes our thoughts.”
  • This, then, is a “Lordship” petition: It is asking God to extend his royal power over every part of our lives—emotions, desires, thoughts, and commitments.
  • We are asking God to so fully rule us that we want to obey him with all our hearts and with joy.
  • To pray “thy kingdom come” is to “yearn for that future life” of justice and peace.

“Thy Will Be Done”

  • Unless we are profoundly certain God is our Father, we will never be able to say “Thy will be done.”
  • Only if we trust God as Father can we ask for grace to bear our troubles with patience and grace.
  • This is the one part of the Lord’s Prayer Jesus himself prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane, under circumstances far more crushing than any of us will ever face. He submitted to his Father’s will rather than following his own desires, and it saved us. That’s why we can trust him.
  • Calvin adds that to pray “thy will be done” is to submit not only our wills to God but even our feelings, so that we do not become despondent, bitter, and hardened by the things that befall us.
  • The beginning of prayer is all about God. We are not to let our own needs and issues dominate prayer; rather, we are to give pride of place to praising and honoring him, to yearning to see his greatness and to see it acknowledged everywhere, and to aspiring to full love and obedience.
  • First, because it heals the heart of its self-centeredness.

“Give Us This Day Our Daily Bread”

  • Augustine reminds us that “daily bread” is a metaphor for necessities rather than luxuries.
  • For Luther, then, to pray for our daily bread is to pray for a prosperous and just social order.

“Forgive Us Our Debts as We Forgive Our Debtors”

  • The fifth petition concerns our relationships, both with God and others.
  • In the presence of God everyone must duck his head and come into the joy of forgiveness only through the low door of humility.
  • If regular confession does not produce an increased confidence and joy in your life, then you do not understand the salvation by grace, the essence of the faith.
  • Jesus tightly links our relationship with God to our relationship with others.
  • Unresolved bitterness is a sign that we are not right with God.
  • It also means that if we are holding a grudge, we should see the hypocrisy of seeking forgiveness from God for sins of our own.

“Lead Us Not into Temptation”

  • Temptation in the sense of being tried and tested is not only inevitable but desirable. The Bible talks of suffering and difficulty as a furnace in which many impurities of soul are “burned off” and we come to greater self-knowledge, humility, durability, faith, and love. However, to “enter into temptation,” as Jesus termed it (Matt 26:41), is to entertain and consider the prospect of giving in to sin.

“Deliver Us from Evil”

  • Calvin combined this phrase with “lead us not into temptation” and called it the sixth and last petition. Augustine and Luther, however, viewed “deliver us from evil” as a separate, seventh petition.
  • This seventh petition is for protection from evil outside us, from malignant forces in the world, especially our enemies who wish to do us harm.

“For Thine Is the Kingdom, the Power, and the Glory Forever”

  • Augustine does not mention it because it was not in most earlier manuscripts of the Bible or in the Latin Vulgate. Luther does not treat it.
  • Calvin, while noting that “this is not extant in the Latin versions,” believes that “it is so appropriate to this place that it ought not to be omitted.”
  • After descending into our needs, troubles, and limitations, we return to the truth of God’s complete sufficiency.

Like Luther in A Simple Way to Pray, Calvin insists that the Lord’s Prayer does not bind us to its particular form of words but rather to its content and basic pattern.

The Lord’s Prayer is a summary of all other prayers, providing essential guidance on emphasis and topics, on purpose and even spirit.

Prayer is therefore not a strictly private thing. As much as we can, we should pray with others both formally in gathered worship and informally. Why? If the substance of prayer is to continue a conversation with God, and if the purpose of it is to know God better, then this can happen best in community. By praying with friends, you will be able to hear and see facets of Jesus that you have not yet perceived.

–Tim Keller

Martin Luther said, “”To be a Christian without prayer is no more possible than to be alive without breathing.”  

Live Prayer, Love God’s Mission

Friends, please enjoy the links below that I have added for your enjoyment: L.Willows

Prayer resources and links on Beloved

Prayer, Music and Worship Podcasts

Confessions of St Augustine audio podcast

Prayer Pod, Prayer and poetry with music

The Moms in Prayer Podcast

Pray as You Go Podcast

Pray the Word with David Platt

The Daily Still Podcast, Guided Christian Meditations and Devotions

Worship Interludes; Piano Instrumentals for Meditation, Prayer and Devotion

Ancient and Contemporary with Liturgy; a beautiful Candlelit Service

Prayers from Taize, a Community in France

What a beautiful Name it is; top worship Songs from hillside (2021)

Share the Gospel; Live Prayer, Love God’s Mission.

The Jesus Film Project

Every Home for Christ

Mission to the World

Perspectives.org