By John Cline
As we finish off yet another year of our annual “40 Days of Prayer” – concluding next Tuesday, February 13th at our Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper – here is an article worth reading. It was written by a Christian George, and published on the churchleaders.com website last August 6th, 2017.
In his article, Christian George provides quotes from the great preacher – and even greater pray-er – Charlies Spurgeon. Based upon Spurgeon’s quotes, George compiled ten ways that praying will change a person’s life. In my reworking of his article, I will include the ten ways, and for each way that praying will change a person’s life, I will include one quote from Charles Spurgeon and then make an observation on each point. In this season of great uncertainty, the first thing—the best thing—a believer should do is pray. When we do, we will discover numerous benefits, so, read and be blessed:
1. Prayer makes us desire God. “Prayer is the natural outgushing of a soul in communion with Jesus”. If you are “in communion with Jesus” you will desire God and prayer. If you are not in communion, you won’t. Are you in communion with Jesus?
2. Prayer promotes holiness. “Prayer will make you leave off sinning, or sinning will make you leave off praying”. When a person is praying, they are not sinning. It is impossible to do both. Are you “praying without ceasing” (to quote the apostle Paul)? If you are having trouble with sin, get praying!
3. Prayer ushers us before the Holy. “Prayers are instantly noticed in Heaven”. It is a grievous thought that God will not answer prayer – He will. But, we must be willing to come into presence and we do so by praying.
4. Prayer opens mysteries. “Prayer is not meant for the Lord’s information. The question is not put to you that you may instruct him, but that he may instruct you”. Prayer is the way to understand God and His mind and heart.
5. Prayer is available to anyone. “We cannot all be leaders, but we can all be pleaders”. God is ready to open this door to Him. Prayer does that. Remember that there is no angel with a fiery sword guarding the gateway to heaven and blocking your access to God. Pray! God will hear and act.
6. Prayer is our spiritual thermometer. “Power in prayer is very much the gauge of our spiritual condition”. When I see a person struggling with sins such as anger or greed or lust, I know they have ceased praying. How much and how often we pray is seen in our lives.
7. Prayer prepares us for praise. “Prayer is the breathing in of the air of heaven, and praise is the breathing of it out again”. Praise should always follow answered prayer, but praise should always be on our lips and in our hearts as we contemplate the sheer grandeur of God. Prayer helps us to praise for it brings us into an awareness of God’s greatness.
8. Prayer raises godly children. “I am sure we cannot expect our children to grow up a godly seed if there is no family prayer”. We have no guarantees that our children will serve the Lord wholeheartedly at all times, but praying for them helps them to be aware of God and His presence and ways.
9. Prayer helps us prevail. “Prayer is the great door of spiritual blessing, and if you close it you shut out the favour”. Prevailing prayer takes the Christian to God’s presence, and places in her or him the determination to prevail until situations are changed and God is glorified.
10. Prayer corrects our posture. “The act of prayer teaches us our unworthiness, which is a very salutary lesson for such proud beings as we are”. Prayer helps us to know that God is God, and we are not!
The great evangelist D.L. Moody once said to hear Charles Spurgeon preach was a blessing, but to hear Spurgeon pray was even more impressive. Spurgeon committed himself to being with God in prayer and he, and the world, were blessed for it. Let us follow his example!