Certain Answered Prayers

And it shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear. – Isaiah 65:24

God will hear the cry of your desire, but the hand into which He will put the mercy is the hand of your expectation. You must believe that you have the blessing, or you will not have it unless it be by some extraordinary mercy beyond what is promised. His usual way is to raise our expectations so that we look out for the favour, and then He sends it. If some people looked out for answers to prayer they might soon have them, for their prayers would be answered by themselves. I was reminded of that by a little boy whose father prayed in the family that the Lord would visit the poor and relieve their wants. When he had finished, his little boy said, “Father, I wish I had your money.” “Why so?” “Because,” he said, “I would answer your prayers for you.” “Which prayers, John?” “Why, father, you prayed that the poor might be helped, and you could do it very well with your own money.” I like better still that story of the good man at the prayer-meeting, who reading the list of prayers found one for a poor widow that her distress might be relieved, so he began to read it, but stopped and added, “we won’t trouble the Lord with that, I will attend to that myself.” Numbers of prayers are of that kind: we are praying God to do what we ought to do ourselves, and that is sheer impertinence. If we really prayed in earnest, expecting to be heard, our answer would often come in this very way, by our being stirred up to see that the Lord had heard us. The Lord might well say to us, “Thou sayest, Thy kingdom come; arise and help to make My kingdom come! Thou askest that My name may be hallowed; go thyself and hallow My name.” Oh, that we had the expectancy which would teach us practical action, so that we should find the answer to our prayer given before we asked, according to the promise, “Before they call I will answer them, and while they are yet speaking I will hear.” ~ C.H. Spurgeon

https://www.blueletterbible.org/Comm/spurgeon_charles/sermons/1480.cfm

Expectancy

And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him. – 1 John 5:15

I was awakened at about four o’clock this morning by a sharp shrill sound. I thought it was a swallow screaming by the window, and I fell asleep again. A young bird had found its way into my room, and was crying for liberty. I left my bed and opened the window to let the captive free. It did not seem to know its way, and so I caught it and gently placed it at the window, and in a moment it flew to the oak tree close by and sat itself down. I watched its movement. The moment it had perched itself comfortably it began to utter sharp cries, and it turned its little head round on all sides as if looking for some one. It was crying for its mother, and why? Because it expected to be fed. And why did it expect to be fed? Because it had been fed before. If it had been a full-grown bird, it would not have called for food, but would have helped itself; but this poor little creature had been nourished by its parents, and it was looking round to be supplied again. This is why we pray.

O Lord, thou hast supplied our wants so long and so often in answer to prayer, that we are in the way of it; and now we pray, not only because we ought to do so, but because it has become natural to us to pray, and we expect Thee to hear us. When Thou dost hear us we bless Thee, but we are not surprised, as though it were a strange thing. Thy truth causes great admiration but no astonishment, for it is like Thee to keep thy word, We are poor dependent children, and Thou a wise and tender Father; Thou has never left us and Thou wilt never leave us, and so we continue instant in prayer, because we are expectant of Thy grace. ~ C.H. Spurgeon

https://www.blueletterbible.org/Comm/spurgeon_charles/sermons/1480.cfm

Real Prayers are Constant Prayers

Pray without ceasing. – 1 Thessalonians 5:17

Real prayers are constant prayers…Beware of prayers which leap up like a grasshopper and are soon down again. Let your prayers have the wings of a dove, let them fly away from earth and rest in God. Hypocrites pray by fits and starts, the genuine Christian “prays without ceasing.”

Beware of judging yourselves by certain spasms of prayer. When I put my lamp out last night, as I thought, it flashed up, then went down again, and yet again flashed up; it did so many times, as I stood waiting, but I knew it must go out ere long. Some have a way of flashing a prayer or two, but their piety is only a dying light, it will all be over soon. Continue instant in prayer, it shall be the test of whether your prayer is a lamp of the Lord or a dying light of your own kindling.

Beloved, we must continue in prayer, but the Holy Spirit alone can enable us to do it. We may, however, be much helped in it by occasionally setting apart a special time. Days of prayer and hours of prayer, and set seasons of prayer are very helpful. We ought to have our appointed seasons each day, but special times over and above our regular custom may stir the fire and enable it to burn more brightly. To unite with other Christians in prayer is often very helpful. Private prayer is more important than public prayer under any aspects, and is a better test of a Christian; still public prayer often reacts upon private devotion, and when two or three are together, and are agreed as touching the kingdom, their supplications will often be helpful to each other and obtain the thing which they desire. ~ C.H. Spurgeon

https://www.blueletterbible.org/Comm/spurgeon_charles/sermons/1480.cfm

Groanings

Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. – Romans 8:26

Pray when you can pray, and pray when you cannot pray. “Alas, sir, I cannot get beyond a groan.” Brother, be not distressed, for the best praying in all the world consists of “groanings that cannot be uttered.” We may sometimes have a doubt whether the Spirit of God helps us to pray in cheerful prayers, though I do not say that there is any need for the doubt,-but we cannot have a question about our sad prayings, for it is expressly said He “maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.” Do you think that the chief end of a Christian’s life is to be comfortable? It is often more good to us to mourn like doves than to sing like nightingales. Sometimes there may be more prayer in a sigh than in a long oration. Often do I myself personally look back upon times of bondage when I cried to God with all my soul, and thought I did not pray, and I wish that I prayed now as I did then. Therefore always pray; whether you feel in a mind for prayer or not, still pray. The fisherman at Mentone keep on fishing with their great net; ay, by the score these fishermen take it out and haul it in again, and frequently they get no more than one little sardine for their pains. Many and many a time I have seen no more than they could hold in their hand as the produce of a net which covered acres of the sea. But why do they go on? Because they are fishermen, and cannot do anything else. You and I are praying men, and there is nothing else we can do but wait upon the Lord. So if, after many a throw of the net, we get but one small answer, we will try again, for this is all we can do. “Lord, to whom should we go but Thee?” ~ C.H. Spurgeon

https://www.blueletterbible.org/Comm/spurgeon_charles/sermons/1480.cfm

Holy Importunity of Prayer

…men ought always to pray, and not to faint… – Luke 18:1

“Long as they live should Christians pray,
For only while they pray they live.”

When they are under the wings of the cherubim crying unto God at His mercy seat then are they in the secret place of the tabernacle of the Most High, and then shall they abide under the shadow of the Almighty.

We ought to be constant in prayer because such remarkable gifts are vouchsafed to importunity. God often gives liberally to prayer when it speaks but once, but frequent pleading begets abundant answering. That is the most soul-enriching prayer which is long in winning its way with God. When prayers like great ships have been long on the voyage you may hope that they have gone far and have gathered rich cargoes and will come home freighted with all the goodlier merchandise. If you can but quietly hope, and patiently wait, all will be well. The very choicest blessings of heaven are reserved for the Elijahs who can say, “Go again seven times,” for the men who come again and again and again and never faint. Wait then upon the Lord with holy importunity of prayer, and your reward shall more than repay you. It is good for us to be compelled to pray like this; it brings us up from spiritual childhood to perfect manhood. Therefore be ye constant in prayer, and gather strength for importunate pleadings. ~ C.H. Spurgeon

https://www.blueletterbible.org/Comm/spurgeon_charles/sermons/1480.cfm

Be Sure That You Do Pray

And He spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint. – Luke 18:1

Beloved, prayer has been connected with every living spiritual experience you have ever had. Will you kindly look back to the hour when you were under the fig tree and Jesus saw you. Were you not at prayer? When you first arose to go to your Father, was not your first step a prayer? When you received the assurance of salvation, was it not in answer to prayer? When His banner over you has been love, have you not felt it sweet to pray? When you have feasted at His table, and He has revealed Himself to you as He does not to the world, have you not then been in the spirit of prayer? There has been nothing grandly great or good in your spiritual life, but…where you have wrestled with God and have prevailed.

Now, beloved, we are commanded to be constant in our instancy. Is not this right? Is there any time when we can afford to slacken prayer? Would you kindly put your finger on the map of the way, and tell me where a Christian man may leave off praying? Is it when he prospers? No, for then he needs grace to carry a full cup with a steady hand. Is it when he is in distress? Doth not nature itself teach us that in time of affliction we should especially draw near to God in prayer? When should he pray, nay, when should he not pray? Where may he pray? The answer is, he may pray everywhere, for as one has well said, a man who carries his temple about with him is always in a place where he may pray; and know ye not that your bodies are the temples of the Holy Ghost? Wherever you go you carry your temples with you, and therefore be sure that you do pray. ~ C.H. Spurgeon

https://www.blueletterbible.org/Comm/spurgeon_charles/sermons/1480.cfm