Monday, October 22, 2012

Set Your Face To The Wall And Pray

Brother, pray if you are between the jaws of death and hell. Pray, brother, if all hope seem to be utterly slain; ay, and if thou canst put thy finger on passages of God’s own word which apparently condemn thee, still pray. Whether thy fears have contorted those threatening passages or not, though many of them frown upon thee, still pray. Perish with thy hand on the horn of the altar if perish thou must. Never believe thy case to be utterly hopeless so long as thou canst plead with God. There can be no hurt come of thy supplication, but good must come of it in some form or other. If God do not prolong life in answer to prayer, as often as he may not, or nobody would ever die, yet still he may give a greater blessing than continued earthly existence; and if it be a greater blessing in God’s judgment, it is better for us to receive it than to have the precise thing we have craved.

In all cases “pray without ceasing.” The mercy seat once stood within the veil where none could approach it except at one set season in the year; but now the veil is rent from top to bottom, and you may come to it when you will. Therefore I charge you come boldly unto the throne of the heavenly grace in every time of need; yea, draw near in the darkest night, and in the most wintry season, when God seems to have forgotten to be gracious, and when thou thinkest he will be favorable no more.

“Men ought always to pray and not to faint.” Pray in the teeth of difficulty, pray though impossibility seem to stand in the way, pray against death and the devil; pray like Manasseh in the low dungeon, and like Jonah out of the belly of hell. Pray against conscience and carnal reason; I was going to say even pray against thy terrifying interpretation of God’s word itself, for thou must surely have misread it if thou hast thought that it forbids thee to pray: it cannot be so, since Jehovah’s glorious memorial is that he is the God that heareth prayer. He has never said to the seed of Jacob, seek ye my face in vain. He may say, and he knows his own meaning when he says it, “Thou shalt die, and not live,” and yet he may afterwards declare, “I have heard thy prayer, I have seen thy tears: behold, I will add unto thy days fifteen years.” He will be favorable unto the voice of thy supplication.

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "Love's Medicines and Miracles," delivered January 21, 1877. Image by mendhak on Flickr under Creative Commons License.

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