Prayer is a Constant
Reading: Luke 19, 20
“’It is written,’ he said to them, ‘My house will be a house of prayer’” –Luke 19:46, NIV
Words from the famous preacher of a bygone century, Charles Haddon Spurgeon that remind us that prayer needs to be constant, as much in the good times as the bad times.
“And, now, I said I would say a word as to why WE ought to pray especially, and that shall close the sermon. Beloved friends, this church ought to pray without ceasing…We have lacked nothing because we have not lacked prayer. I do not doubt we might have had much more if we had prayed more; still prayer has been mighty here. Now, brethren, suppose you had no pastor, suppose the preacher was gone from you…you would pray, would you not? Will you not pray for me then while I live? If you would pray for another to come, will you not pray for me while I am here? I desire to discharge my office before you in God’s sight with all earnestness, but I cannot without your prayers, and as being gone from you, you would lift up many sighs, and you would with prayers ask for a successor, pray for me while I am yet with you. Beloved, you have prayed very earnestly for the pastor when he has been sick, your prayers have been his consolation and his restoration; will you not pray for him now that he is able to preach the gospel, that his health may be sanctified to God’s service, and the ministry of the truth may be mighty in the winning of souls. I ask it of you; I think I might claim it of you. I do beseech you, brethren, pray for us.
Suppose again, dear brethren, there were no conversions in our midst, would not you pray? And since there are a great many conversions, should that be a reason for leaving off? Shall we worship God the less because he gives us more? Instead of one prayer which would go up were there no conversions, there should be ten now that he continues to work salvation among us.
Suppose we were divided, and had many schisms, and jealousies, and bickerings, would not the faithful ones pray in bitterness of spirit? Will you not pray since are there are no divisions, and much Christian love? Surely, I say again, you will not treat God, the worse because he treats you the better. That were foolish indeed.
Suppose we were surrounded today with hosts of persecutors, and that error everywhere crept into our midst and did us damage, would you not pray, you who love the Lord? And now that we live in days of peace, and error, though it prowls around, is kept out of our fold, will you not commune with the Lord all the more? I will say it yet a third time, shall we pray the less because God gives us more? Oh no, but the better he is to us the more let us adore and magnify his name.”
From Spurgeon’s sermon, Pray Without Ceasing, published by Spurgeon Ministries, Kingston, Ontario, Number 239, January 2011, www.spurgeonministries.com