Saturday, November 19, 2011
A Man of Earnest Prayer
When a man becomes cold, indifferent, and careless, one of the first things that will suffer will be his devotion. When a sick man is in a decline his lungs suffer and his voice; and so when a Christian is in a spiritual decline the breath of prayer is affected, and the cry of supplication becomes weak. Prayer is the true gauge of spiritual power. To restrain prayer is dangerous, and of deadly tendency. You may depend upon it that, take it for all in all, what you are upon your knees you are really before your God. What the Pharisee and the Publican were in prayer was the true criterion of their spiritual state.
You may maintain a decent repute among men, but it is a small matter to be judged of man’s judgment, for men see only the surface, while the Lord’s eyes pry into the recesses of the soul. If he sees that you are prayerless he makes small account of your attendance at religious meetings, or your loud professions of conversion. If you are a man of earnest prayer, and especially if the spirit of prayer be in you, so that in addition to certain seasons of supplication your heart habitually talks with God, things are right with you; but if this be not the case, and your prayers be “hindered,” there is something in your spiritual system which needs to be ejected, or somewhat lacking which ought at once to be supplied. “Keep thine heart with all diligence, for out of it are the issues of life;” and living prayers are among those issues.
From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "Hindrances To Prayer," delivered September 13, 1871. Image by Mary Ann Enriquez on Flickr under Creative Commons License.