Charles Spurgeon (3)

“Effective Prayer”

“You have not quite completed the ordering when you have asked for what you want through Jesus Christ. There should be a looking round the blessing in which you desire, to see whether it is assuredly a fitting thing to ask; for some prayers would never be offered if men did but think. A little reflection would show to us that some things which we desire were better let alone. We may, moreover, have a motive at the bottom of our desire which is not Christ-like, a selfish motive, which forgets God’s glory and caters only for our own case and comfort. Now although we may ask for things which are for our profit, yet still we must never let our profit interfere in any way with the glory of God. There must be mingled with acceptable prayer the holy salt of submission to the divine will. I like Luther’s saying, “Lord, I will have my will of thee at this time.” “What!” say you, “Like such an expression as that?” I do, because of the next clause, which was, “I will have my will, for I know that my will is thy will.” That is well spoken, Luther; but without the last words it would have been wicked presumption. When we are sure that what we ask for is for God’s glory, then, if we have power in prayer, we may say, “I will not let thee go except thou bless me”: we may come to close dealings with God, and like Jacob with the angel we may even put it to the wrestle and seek to give the angel the fall sooner than be sent away without the benediction. But we must be quite clear, before we come to such terms as those, that what we are seeking is really for the Master’s honour.”

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