From Charles H. Spurgon’s sermon on prayer. “Call unto me and I will answer thee and show thee great and mighty things which thou knowest not” Jeremiah 33:3, Here are three reasons it is hard to pray and therefore God has to command us to pray.
You will be surprised to find how many times such words as these are given in Scripture—”Call upon Me in the day of trouble and I will deliver you.” “You people, pour out your heart before Him.” “Seek you the Lord while He may be found. Call you upon Him while He is near.” “Ask and it shall be given you. Seek and you shall find. Knock and it shall be opened unto you.” “Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation.” “Pray without ceasing.” “Come boldly unto the Throne of Grace.” “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.” “Continue in prayer.” Why so many commandments to pray? Why is praying so hard to do? Here are three reasons from Spurgeon.
1. We have hours for the world! Moments for Christ! We do not forget to eat—we do not forget to take the shop shutters down—we do not forget to be diligent in business—we do not forget to go to our beds to rest—but we often forget to wrestle with God in prayer and to spend, as we ought to spend, long periods in consecrated fellowship with our Father and our God.
2. In times of heaviness we might give it up! If God commands me, unfit as I may be, I will creep to the footstool of Divine Grace. And since He says, “Pray without ceasing,” though my words fail me and my heart itself will wander, yet I will still stammer out the wishes of my hungering soul and say, “O God, at least teach me to pray and help me to prevail with You.”
3. Because of our frequent unbelief. Unbelief whispers, “What profit is there if you should seek the Lord upon such-and-such a matter? Either it is too trivial a matter, or it is too connected with temporals, or else it is a matter in which you have sinned too much, or else it is too high, too hard, too complicated a piece of business—you have no right to take that before God!” So suggests the foul Fiend of Hell. Therefore there stands written as an everyday precept suitable to every case into which a Christian can be cast, “Call unto Me.” “Call unto Me. Are you sick? Would you be healed? Cry unto Me, for I am the Great Physician. Does Providence trouble you? Are you fearful that you shall not provide things honest in the sight of man? Call unto Me! Do your children vex you? Are your griefs little, yet painful, like small points and pricks of thorns? Call unto Me! Is your burden heavy as though it would make your back break beneath its load? Call unto Me! Cast your burden upon the Lord and He shall sustain you! He shall never suffer the righteous to be moved.”
You can download a transcript of the whole sermon here.
Join us on Sunday evenings over the next several weeks as Pastor Franseen speaks on the topic of prayer. Pastor Franseen will cover topics such as how God answers prayer. Requirements for prayer, how to pray consistently. how to pray desiring God's will while asking for your own requests and more. Join us for this practical and theological study from the Bible. Bring a friend.
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Pastor Bob Franseen, Pastor of Eagle Heights Baptist Church & Others