What Would Spurgeon Say… on Prayer?

I recently purchased a complete set of Spurgeon’s Sermons for a steal. Unlike finding a Rembrandt in a garage sale, which would yield its worth upon professional appraisal, these volumes may take me decades to mine the treasures of eternal truth found in their pages. (And of course, they are competing for my time with bookshelves full of gold.) Thanks to a thorough index, I can easily turn to a sermon covering any topic or passage of Scripture about which I may be curious.

After my first dive into one of his sermons I came up for air longing to share what I learned. And so, without any idea of how regularly I might do this, I hereby launch a series, to be posted without predictable regularity, titled: What Would Spurgeon Say?

First, who am I writing about? Charles Haddon Spurgeon (1834-1892), known as the “Prince of Preachers,” was an English Particular Baptist preacher, and pastored a congregation in London at the Metropolitan Tabernacle for 38 years. A Reformed Baptist, he opposed the liberal and pragmatic theological tendencies in the Church of his day. Spurgeon’s sermons were powerfully delivered and precise in exposition of the Word of God. He was a prolific author, writing sermons, an autobiography, commentaries, books on prayer, devotionals, magazines, poetry, hymns, and more. His writings continue to be a source of inspiration today.[1]

The women’s ministry team at church has just recently finished reading a book on prayer that has revived in all of us a desire for deeper, more frequent prayer with one another. Thinking about this at home, I wondered what Spurgeon might say concerning the topic of prayer, I found a sermon on Psalm 61:2.

“from the end of the earth I call to you/ when my heart is faint. / Lead me to the Rock/ that is higher than I”

I only barely began his first point when I came upon this:

Suppose it possible for us to be banished to the uttermost verge of the green earth… to be hastened far away, where dwindling daylight dieth out, and where the sun’s bleak ray scarce scattereth light on the world—where vegetation, dwarfing and declining, at last dies out; suppose us banished in exile without a friend and without a helper—even there, from the ends of the earth, we should find that prayer was available. It would still appear a delightful privilege to cry unto God. In fact, if there be a place nearer than another to God’s throne, it is just at the end of the earth, for the end of the earth is the beginning of heaven. Where our strength ends, there God’s omnipotence begins.[2]

Oh, friend, do you find yourself at the “ends of the earth?” Have you been overwhelmed by trials; crippled by despair? Are you left with barely enough air to speak? Whisper your cry, for God is near enough to hear the faint beating of your heart. You may suppose that you are without friend or helper, but the Lord who made you is ready at hand. Rely upon his promise never to leave you or forsake you. Know that Christ is your refuge—your strong tower. And even if not in this life, but in the eternal glory to which he has called you, you will someday with the Psalmist sing praises to his name.

 “So I will ever sing praises to his name, / as I perform my vows day after day.”

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Spurgeon (It’s lazy, I know, to resort to Wikipedia, but I wanted to capture it before the rest of my thoughts flew away.)
[2] Charles Haddon Spurgeon, Spurgeon’s Sermons, Volume 6 (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson), 269.

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