Tuesday, September 13, 2011

C.H. Spurgeon on Prayer

From his sermon, The Throne of Grace

"The throne of grace" (Hebrews 4:16)

"These words are found embedded in that precious verse, 'Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, what we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need' and are a gem in a golden setting. True prayer is an approach of the soul by the Spirit of God to the throne of God. It is not the utterance of words, nor is it alone the feeling of desires, but it is the advance of the desires to God, the spiritual approach of our nature toward the Lord our God. True prayer is not a mere mental exercise, nor a vocal performance, but is far deeper than that – it is spiritual communion with the Creator of heaven and earth. God is a Spirit unseen of mortal eye and only to be perceived by the inner man; our spirit within us, begotten by the Holy Ghost at our regeneration. Prayer is a spiritual business from beginning to end, and its aim and object end not with man, but reach to God Himself…

"But, in the fourth place, if it be a throne, it ought to be approached with large expectations. Well does our hymn put it: 'Thou art coming to a king, large petitions with thee bring.'

"We do not come, as it were, in prayer only to God's benevolence fund where He dispenses His favors to the poor, nor do we come to the back door of the house of mercy to receive broken scraps, though that is far more than we deserve; to eat the crumbs that fall from the Master's table is more than we could claim. But when we pray, we are standing in the palace, on the glittering floor of the great King's own reception room, and thus we are placed upon a vantage ground. In prayer we stand where angels bow with veiled faced; there, even there, the cherubim and seraphim adore, before that same throne to which our prayers ascend. And shall we come there with stunted requests and narrow and contracted faith? No, it does not become a king to be giving away pennies and nickels; he distributes large pieces of gold.

"Beware of imagining that God's thoughts are as your thoughts and that His ways as your ways. Do not bring before God stinted petitions and narrow desires by saying, 'Lord, do according to these,' but remember, as high as the heavens are above the earth, so high are His ways above your ways and His thoughts above your thoughts. Ask, therefore, in a God-like way for great things, for you are before a great throne. Oh, that we always felt this way when we came before the throne of grace, for then He would do for us exceeding abundantly above what we ask or even think."

Source: Classic Sermons on Prayer, Hendrickson Publishers, with permission from Kregel Publications, 1987.

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