Hope for Our Lame, Limping Supplications

…come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. – Hebrews 4:16

In beginning to pray, dear friends, you feel as if you did not pray. The groanings of your spirit, when you rise from your knees are such that you think there is nothing in them. What a blotted, blurred, smeared prayer it is. Never mind; you are not come to the throne of justice, else when God perceived the fault in the prayer He would spurn it,-your broken words, your gaspings, and stammerings are before a throne of grace. When any one of us has presented his best prayer before God, if he saw it as God sees it, there is no doubt he would make great lamentation over it; for there is enough sin in the best prayer that was ever prayed to secure its being cast away from God. But it is not a throne of justice and here is the hope for our lame, limping supplications. Our condescending King does not maintain a stately etiquette in His court like that which has been observed by princes among men, where a little mistake or a flaw would secure the petitioner’s being dismissed with disgrace. Oh, no; the faulty cries of His children are not severely criticized by Him. The Lord High Chamberlain of the palace above, our Lord Jesus Christ, takes care to alter and amend every prayer before He presents it, and He makes the prayer perfect with His perfection, and prevalent with His own merits. God looks upon the prayer, as presented through Christ, and forgives all its own inherent faultiness. How this ought to encourage any of us who feel ourselves to be feeble, wandering, and unskillful in prayer. If you cannot plead with God as sometimes you did in years gone by, if you feel as if somehow or other you had grown rusty in the work of supplication, never give over, but come still, yea and come oftener, for it is not a throne of severe criticism, it is a throne of grace to which you come.~ C.H. Spurgeon


A special post for these days~

Full sermon text -if you can, read this with “virus” replacing “cholera” just as the narrator did to bring this message up to date.

Prayer is No Trifle

Give unto the LORD the glory due unto His name; worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness. – Psalm 29:2

Prayer is no trifle. It is an eminent and elevated act. It is a high and wondrous privilege. Under the old Persian Empire a few of the nobility were permitted at any time to come in unto the king, and this was thought to be the highest privilege possessed by mortals. You and I, the people of God, have a permit, a passport to come before the throne of heaven at any time we will, and we are encouraged to come there with great boldness; but still let us not forget that it is no mean thing to be a courtier in the courts of heaven and earth, to worship Him who made us and sustains us in being. Truly, when we attempt to pray, we may hear the voice saying out of the excellent glory: “Bow the knee.” From all the spirits that behold the face of our Father who is in heaven, even now, I hear a voice which saith, “Oh, come let us worship and bow down, let us kneel before the Lord our Maker; for He is our God, and we are the people of His pasture and the sheep of His hand. O worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness; fear before Him all the earth.”

We are still on praying ground and pleading terms with God, and the throne to which we are bidden to come…is the throne of grace. It is a throne set up on purpose for the dispensation of grace; a throne from which every utterance is an utterance of grace; the scepter that is stretched out from it is the silver sceptre of grace; the decrees proclaimed from it are purposes of grace; the gifts that are scattered down its golden steps are gifts of grace; and He that sits upon the throne is grace itself. It is the throne of grace to which we approach when we pray; and let us for a moment or two think this over, by way of consolatory encouragement to those who are beginning to pray; indeed, to all of us who are praying men and women.~ C.H. Spurgeon


Pray with Deepest Sincerity

But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.- Matthew 6:7

If prayer be a coming before the throne of God, it ought always to be conducted with the deepest sincerity, and in the spirit which makes everything real. If you are disloyal enough to despise the King, at least, for your own sake, do not mock Him to His face, and when He is upon His throne. If anywhere you dare repeat holy words without heart, let it not be in Jehovah’s palace. If a person should ask for audience with royalty, and then should say, “I scarce know why I have come, I do not know that I have anything very particular to ask; I have no very urgent suit to press;” would He not be guilty both of folly and baseness? As for our great King, when we venture into His presence, let us have an errand there…  let us beware of playing at praying. It is insolence toward God. If I am called upon to pray in public, I must not dare to use words that are intended to please the ears of my fellow-worshippers, but I must realize that I am speaking to God Himself, and that I have business to transact with the great Lord. And, in my private prayer, if, when I rise from my bed in the morning, I bow my knee and repeat certain words, or when I retire to rest at night go through the same regular form, I rather sin than do anything that is good, unless my very soul doth speak unto the Most High. Dost thou think that the King of heaven is delighted to hear thee pronounce words with a frivolous tongue, and a thoughtless mind? Thou knowest Him not. He is a Spirit, and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth. If thou hast any empty forms to prate, go and pour them out into the ears of fools like thyself, but not before the Lord of Hosts. If thou hast certain words to utter, to which thou dost attach a superstitious reverence, go and say them in the bedizened courts of the harlot Rome, but not before the glorious Lord of Zion. The spiritual God seeks spiritual worshipers, and such He will accept, and only such; but the sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination unto the Lord, and only a sincere prayer is His delight.~ C.H. Spurgeon


Unstaggering Confidence

Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace… – Hebrews 4:16

The right spirit in which to approach the throne of grace, is that of unstaggering confidence. Who shall doubt the King? Who dares impugn the Imperial word? It was well said that if integrity were banished from the hearts of all mankind besides, it ought still to dwell in the hearts of kings. Shame on a king if he can lie. The veriest beggar in the streets is dishonoured by a broken promise, but what shall we say of a king if his word cannot be depended upon? Oh, shame upon us, if we are unbelieving before the throne of the King of heaven and earth. With our God before us in all His glory, sitting on the throne of grace, will our hearts dare to say we mistrust Him? Shall we imagine either that He cannot, or will not, keep His promise? Banished be such blasphemous thoughts, and if they must come, let them come upon us when we are somewhere in the outskirts of His dominions, if such a place there be, but not in prayer, when we are in His immediate presence, and behold Him in all the glory of His throne of grace. There, surely, is the place for the child to trust its Father, for the loyal subject to trust his Monarch; and, therefore, far from it be all wavering or suspicion. Unstaggering faith should be predominant before the mercy-seat.

“The gospel bears my spirit up,
A faithful and unchanging God
Lays the foundation for my hope
In oaths, and promises, and blood.”

May God the Holy Spirit help us to use aright from this time forward “the throne of grace.” ~ C.H. Spurgeon


Deepest Submission

Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. – Matthew 6:10

We do not pray to God to instruct Him as to what He ought to do, neither for a moment must we presume to dictate the line of the divine procedure. We are permitted to say unto God, “Thus and thus would we have it,” but we must evermore add, “But, seeing that we are ignorant and may be mistaken-seeing that we are still in the flesh, and, therefore, may be actuated by carnal motives-not as we will, but as Thou wilt.” Who shall dictate to the throne? No loyal child of God will for a moment imagine that he is to occupy the place of the King, but he bows before Him who has a right to be Lord of all; and though he utters his desire earnestly, vehemently, importunately, and pleads and pleads again, yet it is evermore with this needful reservation: “Thy will be done, my Lord: and, if I ask anything that is not in accordance therewith, my inmost will is that Thou wouldst be good enough to deny Thy servant; I will take it as a true answer if Thou refuse me, if I ask that which seemeth not good in Thy sight.” If we constantly remembered this, I think we should be less inclined to push certain suits before the throne, for we should feel, “I am here in seeking my own ease, my own comfort, my own advantage, and peradventure, I may be asking for that which would dishonour God; therefore will I speak with the deepest submission to the divine decrees.”

Take heed of imagining that God’s thoughts are as thy thoughts, and His ways as thy ways. Do not bring before God stinted petitions and narrow desires, and say, “Lord, do according to these,” but, remember, as high as the heavens are above the earth, so high are His ways above your ways, and His thoughts above your thoughts, and ask, therefore, after a God-like sort, ask for great things, for you are before the throne of grace, for then He would do for us exceeding abundantly above what we ask or even think.~ C.H. Spurgeon