Lynwood, WA: Emerald Books, 1993
This wonderful volume of twelve sermons by the great 19th century British preacher Charles Spurgeon was compiled and edited by Robert Hall. His interest in Spurgeon was piqued by a previous editorial project that required him to read numerous sermons by him. The twelve he selected on the subject of prayer are as relevant today as when they were preached.
I recommend reading each chapter, which consists of one sermon, aloud as if you were Spurgeon himself. Read that chapter in a single sitting if possible. Besides gleaning many rich insights on prayer from God’s Word you will begin to feel the Prince of Preacher’s passion as if he were preaching this sermon to you personally.
To give you a flavor of this 192 page book I’ve listed the title of each sermon with its key text and one of my favorite quotes from the chapter.
- The Throne of Grace
- Hebrews 4:16 – Let us come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
- Favorite quote – Our Father is to be regarded as a King, and in prayer we come, not only to our Father’s feet, but to the throne of the Great Monarch of the universe. The mercy seat is a throne, and we must not forget this.
- The Secret of Power in Prayer
- John 15:7 – If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it will be done unto you.
- Favorite quote – Souls abiding in Jesus open the day with prayer; prayer surrounds them as an atmosphere all day long; at night they fall asleep praying. They are able joyfully to say, “When I am awake, I am still with thee.”
- The Golden Key of Prayer
- Jeremiah 33:3 – Call unto me, and I will answer you, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.
- Favorite quote – “To have prayed well is to have studied well” was the wise sentence of Luther’s. You may force your way through anything with the leverage of prayers. Thoughts and reasonings may be like the steel wedges that may open a way into truth, but prayer is the lever that forces open the iron chest of sacred mystery.
- True Prayer – True Power
- Mark 11:24 – Therefore I say to you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.
- Favorite quote – To think that we puny people may speak with God and through God we may move all the worlds. Yet when your prayers are heard, creation will not be disturbed. Though the grandest ends be answered, providence will not be altered for a single moment. Not a leaf will fall earlier from the tree, not a star will stray from its course, nor will one drop of water trickle more slowly from its fount – all will go on the same, and yet prayers will affect everything.
- Prayer That Is Quickly Answered
- Daniel 9:23 – At the beginning of thy supplications the commandment came forth, and I am come to shew thee; for thou art greatly beloved.
- Favorite quote – Let us now say in His sight that even if He does not please to hear us at the beginning of the supplication, it is our desire to wait upon him until he does.
- The Power of Prayer and the Pleasure of Praise
- 2 Corinthians 1:11-12 – Ye also helping together by prayer for us, that for the gift bestowed upon us by the means of many persons thanks may be given by many on our behalf. For our rejoicing is this, the testimony of our conscience, that in simplicity and godly sincerity, not with fleshly wisdom, but by the grace of God, we have had our conversation in the world, and more abundantly to you-ward.
- Favorite quote – Why has God been pleased to command us to pray at all? It really is not difficult to discover the answer, for prayer glorifies God by positioning man in the humblest posture of worship.
- The Conditions of Power in Prayer
- 1 John 3:22-24 – And whatsoever you ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight. And this is the commandment, That we should believe in the name of His Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment. And he that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him, and he in him. And hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us.
- Favorite quote – Childlike prayer makes us pray as none else can. It causes a man to pray for great things that he would never have asked for if he had not learned this confidence. It also causes him to pray for little things that many people are afraid to ask for, because they have not yet felt toward God the confidence of children.
- Intercessory Prayer
- Job 42:10 – And the Lord turned the captivity of Job, when he prayed for his friends.
- Favorite quote – It is better to pray than to argue. Sometimes you think it would be a good thing to have a public discussion upon a doctrine. It would be a better thing to have prayer over it. Carry your dear friends who are wrong in practice – not to the discussion room – before God, and let this be your cry, “Teach me if I am wrong, and teach my friend whenever he errs and make him right.”
- Essential Points of Prayer
- 1 Kings 9:2-3 – That the Lord appeared to Solomon the second time, as he had appeared to him at Gibeon. And the Lord said unto him, I have heard thy prayer and thy supplication, that thou has made before me: I have hallowed this house, which thou has built, to put my name there for ever; and mine eyes and mine heart shall be there perpetually.
- Favorite quote – I encourage you to seek God for his special visitations of His presence. I do not mean to minimize our daily walk in the light of his countenance; but consider that though the ocean has its high tides twice every day; yet it also has its spring tides. … If we walk with God constantly, there are special seasons when He opens the very secret of His heart to us and manifests Himself to us – not only as He does to the world but also as He does not at all times to His favored ones.
- Hindrances to Prayer
- 1 Peter 3:7 – That your prayers be not hindered.
- Favorite quote – To be hindered from prayer may be done by falling into a generally lax condition in reference to the things of God. When a man becomes spiritually cold, indifferent and careless, one of the first things that will suffer will be his prayer life. Prayer is the true gauge of spiritual power. To restrain prayer is a dangerous and deadly tendency. This is a faithful saying: what you are upon your knees, you are really before your God.
- Prayer, the Cure for Care
- Philippians 4:6-7 – Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
- Favorite quote – Cares and worries are manifold; therefore let your prayers be manifold. Turn everything that is a care into a prayer. Let your cares be the raw material of your prayers. … Baptize every anxiety into the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, and so make it into a blessing.
- Golden Vials Full of Odors
- Revelation 5:8 – Golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints.
- Favorite quote – The prayers the Lord accepts are not the chantings of functionaries, the litanies of priests, or the devout tones of an organ – they must be the prayers of the saints. In the believer’s life, character, and soul, the sweetness lies. … Their thoughts, desires, longings, confessions, pleadings, and praises are sweet to God.
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