Posts Tagged ‘Spurgeon’

Spurgeon & Prayer Meetings

One of the dangers of public prayer is that our prayers become more sideways than vertical. I am guilty of this type of prayer sometimes, and the result is not true prayer. Our primary focus is who we are praying with, and not the Almighty God we are praying to. This is what I mean:














The arrows could represent a number of things really. It certainly represents our focus. Perhaps focus of our mind during prayer, perhaps the focus of our words – and we end up preaching at others in the name of prayer. Remember the Pharisee’s prayer in Luke 18:10-12, and he does not go home justified before God. We should pray like the tax collector; ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’ The arrows could be said to represent the position of our hearts during prayer. Who do we fear in public prayer? Man’s approval or the throne of God.

When we come before the Lord, it is important to recognise who it is we come before. We are approaching the Creator of the Heavens and the Earth, the God who is the Alpha and Omega. He is our Father, and we can approach Him with confidence (Heb 4:16) but He is our Father in Heaven, whose name is to be hallowed (Matt 6:9).

Here is an extract from CHS;

‘Another evil was, mistaking preaching for prayer. The friends who reputed to be ‘gifted’ indulged themselves in public prayer with a review of their own experience, a recapitulation of their creed, an occasional running commentary upon a chapter or Psalm, or even a criticism upon the Pastor and his sermons. It was too often quite forgotten that the brother was addressing the divine Majesty, before whose wisdom a display of our knowledge is impertinence, and before whose glory an attempt at swelling words and pompous periods is little short of profanity; the harangue was evidently intended for man rather than God, and on some occasions did not contain a single petition from beginning to end. We hope that good men are leaving this unhallowed practice, and are beginning to see that sermons and doctrinal disquisitions are miserable substitutes for earnest wrestling prayers, when our place is before the mercy-seat, and our engagement is intercession with the Most High.’ (C.H. Spurgeon)

Let our prayers be vertical and not horizontal. Practice on our own before the throne of God, and then it will become more natural when we come together with other Christians to pray.

I’ve just heard this from John Piper; ‘There are no victories in the Christian life without prayer.’ He’s right you know. That’s why it could not be more vital to get prayer right!


Spurgeon on Prayer

I have just started reading Charles Haddon Spurgeon’s classic ‘Only a prayer meeting’ and I intend to serve up some great insights on what a God glorifying prayer meeting does and does not look (although ‘look’ is a little misleading because it’s not about how it looks per se) like from the big man himself as I turn the pages of this book. Here’s what I’ve uncovered so far…

First of all on Christian gatherings and the importance of keeping Christ exalting truth central rather than performing the latest ‘fad’:

‘I would sooner have the doctrines of grace revived, individual piety deepened, and family religion increased, than I would watch a frantic crowd parading the street with noisy music, and harsh clamour. I see no special virtue in drums and tambourines. Make what noise you will to attract the careless if  you afterwards give them sound instruction in the truth, and make them know the meaning of the Word of the Lord; but if it be mere stir, and song, and swagger, what is the good of it? If gospel truth is not taught, your work will be a building of wood, hay, and stubble, soon to be consumed. Quick building is seldom permanent. Gold, silver, and precious stones are scarce material, not easily found; but then they endure the fire. What is the use of religion which comes up in a night, and perishes as soon? Ah, me! What empty bragging we have heard! The thing was done, but then it was never worth doing; soon things were as if it never had been done; and, moreover, this sham way of doing it made it all the harder toil for the real worker.’

Let churches everywhere be full of the faithful and passionate deliverance and spread of God’s truth!

And then before turning to the public use of prayer in the rest of the book, Spurgeon highlights the necessity of time alone with the Lord in prayer:

‘If our life is all in public, it will be a frothy, vapoury, ineffectual existence; but if we hold high converse with God in secret, we shall be mighty for good. The Puritans were abundant in meditation and prayer; and there were giants on the earth in those days. He that is a prince with God will take high rank with men, after the true measure of nobility.’

May our lives not just talk the talk, but let us walk the walk!