This is a weekly series with things I’m reading and pondering from Charles Spurgeon. You can read the original seed thought here, or type “Thursdays With Spurgeon” in the search box to read more entries.
Prayer Preparation And Prayer Expectation
In the morning, Lord, You hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before You and wait expectantly. (Psalm 5:3)
Do we not miss very much of the sweetness and efficacy of prayer by a want of careful meditation before it, and hopeful expectation after it? … We too often rush into the presence of God without forethought or humility. We are like people who present themselves before a king without a petition, and what wonder is it that we often miss the end of prayer? We should be careful to keep the stream of meditation always running, for this is the water to drive the mill of prayer. … Prayer without fervency is like hunting with a dead dog, and prayer without preparation is hawking with a blind falcon. Prayer is the work of the Holy Spirit, but He works by means. God made man, but He used the dust of the earth as a material. The Holy Ghost is the Author of prayer, but He employs the thoughts of a fervent soul as the gold with which to fashion the vessel. Let our prayers and praises be not the flashes of a hot and hasty brain but the steady burning of a well-kindled fire.
Sadly, I think we’ve become so accustomed to instant-everything in our society that it has seriously limited our prayer life. We walk into our prayer closet without an idea of what we’re going to pray, rattle off a few requests, say “Amen,” and walk out of our prayer closet exactly the same as we walked in.
There is certainly help for us when we are so distressed—so at our wits’ end—that we don’t even know what to pray, but this is not what David is saying in Psalm 5. David is making it a regular practice to come into God’s presence with his requests at the ready, and he is walking away from his prayer time in eager expectation of God’s soon-to-be-realized answers.
The Amplified Bible says, “I prepare a prayer…and watch and wait for You to speak to my heart.”
I think it is a good idea for us to:
- Keep a regular time of prayer
- Eliminate distractions before we go into our prayer closet
- Bring God our specific requests
- Walk away from our prayer time in eager expectation
- Continue to pray all day long as our needs come back to mind
- P.U.S.H. = pray until something happens
As Spurgeon said, “Let our prayers and praises be not the flashes of a hot and hasty brain but the steady burning of a well-kindled fire.”
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