“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~

“Reasoning with God in Prayer”, from P.J. Tibayan -Give life to your Prayer List (Prayer, Intimacy with God, Holy Spirit)

Inject Your Prayer List with Life
Article by P.J. Tibayan

Pastor, Bellflower, California

I want to pray more this year. More than ever before.

God promises that he hears and actively responds to prayers as we come to him in the name of Jesus. We have not, because we ask not.

I’m resolved to pray biblical prayers for myself and others. I’m responsible to pray for the members of my church family because I’m a member of the family and James commands us to “pray for one another” (James 5:16). As a pastor, I’m to be devoted to not only the ministry of the Word, but also the ministry of prayer (Acts 6:4). As a friend, I want those I love to experience the joy of the Lord.

But there’s the problem: my praying through a list of names and needs often feels more like reading a shopping list than meaningfully communing with the Father in heaven.

As a Christian who cares a lot about theological accuracy, I’ve found that if I pray a biblically grounded prayer request then I’m content with that even if I’m not really meaningfully pleading or connecting with God. There has to be a better way.

As I finished up Tim Keller’s book, Prayer: Experiencing Awe and Intimacy with God, I realized the problem, and discovered two antidotes. Tim Keller writes, distilling the insight of J. I. Packer,

. . . Packer is concerned about how many Christians tend to pray from long “prayer lists.” The theological thinking and self-reflection that should accompany supplication takes time. Prayer lists and other such methods may lead us to very speedily move through names and needs with a cursory statement “if it is your will” without the discipline of backing up our requests with thoughtful reasoning.

Packer writes that “if we are going to take time to think our way into the situations and personal lives on which our intercessions focus,” we may not be able to pray for as many items and issues.

“Our amplifyings and argumentation will [then] lift our intercessions from the shopping list, prayer-wheel level to the apostolic category of what Paul called ‘struggle’’’ (Colos,sians 2:1–3). (229–230, see also 250)

I see at least three tips for transforming our praying from grocery-list-praying to wrestling with God.

  1. Reason with God from his word.

First, when praying for names and needs, do not only ask God your specific request, but tell him why you’re asking for it.

Undergirding all of our requests is the spirit of “not my will, but yours be done.” This does not mean that we just tag an “if-you-will” mantra at the end of each request.

Every specific answer God gives to each prayer prayed is already according to the counsel of his will (Ephesians 1:11).

It does mean that when we pray our desires and reasons to God, we listen afresh to what his word teaches us about his character, mission, and desires — his will. It’s okay if we don’t know the Bible as well as a pastor or theologian. God knows that. We submit our request and our reasoning to our Father, knowing he cares for us and is drawing us near to him. And we ask him to continually be shaping and aligning our will with his.

For example, instead of praying, “God, please heal John of his sickness,” you might pray, “God, please heal John from his sickness so that he might glorify you at his job (1 Corinthians 10:31), working as unto you and not unto men (Colossians 3:23). Heal him so that as he goes back to work, he’ll accomplish the good works you’ve prepared for him (Ephesians 2:10). Heal him in order that he might earn money as your means of supplying his needs (Philippians 4:19) and giving him the resources he stewards to generously support the Great Commission work in his local church and elsewhere (2 Corinthians 9:6–8). And while he’s sick, draw him near to you and help him examine his soul for sin (Psalm 139:23–24). If there is any, may he confess it to you and others as you lead him (James 5:14–16).”

  1. Reflect on how God might use you to answer your prayer.

Second, reflect on what God is leading you by his Spirit to do in light of your request.

He may be telling you to follow up with the person or contact him. Perhaps he’s telling you to write him a note or ask him a question when you see him on Sunday. Maybe he’s telling you to repent of your negligence in the way you relate to that person. It’s possible he’s leading you to start a conversation where you can begin to share the gospel with him. You’ve asked God to move. What do you think he might be leading you to do?

Pray those self-reflective thoughts to God as you pray about the specific name or need.

Instead of praying, “God, please heal John of his sickness,” you might pray, “God, please heal John of his sickness. Help me to encourage him to draw near to you in the time of sickness. Should I ask him if he’s examined his soul for sin? If I should, can you please help me to ask him in a way that is not misunderstood or offensive? Help me ask in a way that is edifying and in which he feels loved. As I send him a text message, I pray that it lifts up his soul toward joy in you.”

Practice self-reflection. Then make sure you do what you believe God is leading you to do as you participate in God’s sovereign response to your prayers.

  1. Resist the urge to cram and rush.

Third, wrestling with God in prayer takes time. As you intercede for others, God is drawing you near to himself.

You can’t microwave meaningful moments with the Father. Moments like these are marinated.

As Keller puts it, “We may not be able to pray for as many items and issues.” I confess that I often pray for 11–13 church members a day like I’m reading a grocery list with a quick helpful thought between names. We should consider extending our prayer time or choosing to pray through fewer names, taking our time while drawing near to him.

As we meet with God in prayer, may we continually learn to wrestle with our Refuge and struggle with our Stronghold, that we may receive strength in the inner man for those we love and serve.

As you slow down, reason with God, and reflect for yourself,

“May [God] grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith — that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God” (Ephesians 3:16–19).

P.J. Tibayan (@pjtibayan) is a pastor of Bethany Baptist Church in Bellflower, CA, where he lives with his wife, Frances, and their five children. He blogs at gospelize.me and helps lead The Gospel Coalition Los Angeles Regional Chapter and the Shepherd LA Cooperative.

Source:  https://www.desiringgod.org/articles/inject-your-prayer-list-with-life

More Resources on Prayer:

Suggested Prayer Resources:

From L.Willowslinks for further reading on site on Prayer

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”

Prayer; Pouring to God through Christ, John Bunyan on 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

Puritan Prayer, The Deeps

The Love of Jesus, Puritan Prayer

Praying in the Spirit, Martin Lloyd Jones

Eight Keys to Prayer by Marilee Pierce Dunker, Ambassador to World Vision

Praying in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ, by John Walwoord

Praying in the Name of Jesus by O Hallesby

And So We Pray, Reconciliation

The Saint’s Happiness by Richard Sibbes

The Prayer of Worship and Adoration by J. Oswald Sanders

Praying the Lord’s Prayer from Tim Keller

Kingdom Centered Prayer from Tim Keller

Prayer Transforms us by God’s Presence by Ben Patterson (God’s Prayer Book)

Revival and the Holy Spirit from Martin Lloyd Jones

“Grace Active”, a Puritan Prayer from The Valley of Vision

Grace Active

O God, may Your Spirit speak in me that I may speak to You.

O Lord Jesus, great high priest, You have opened a new and living way by which a fallen creature can approach You with acceptance.

Help me to contemplate the dignity of Your Person, the perfectness of Your sacrifice, the effectiveness of Your intercession.

O what blessedness accompanies devotion, when under all the trials that weary me, the cares that corrode me, the fears that disturb me, the infirmities that oppress me,

I can come to You in my need and feel peace beyond understanding!

The grace that restores is necessary to preserve, lead, guard, supply, help me. And here Your saints encourage my hope; they were once poor and are now rich, bound and are now free, tried and now are victorious.

Every new duty calls for more grace than I now possess, but not more than is found in You, the divine treasury in whom all fullness dwells.

To You I repair for grace upon grace, until every void made by sin be replenished and I am filled with all Your fullness.

May my desires be enlarged and my hopes emboldened, that I may honour You by my entire dependency and the greatness of my expectation.

Be with me, and prepare me for all the smiles of prosperity, the frowns of adversity, the losses of substance, the death of friends, the days of darkness, the changes of life, and the last great change of all.

May I find Your grace sufficient for all my needs.

Source: Valley of Vision