Our poor prayers
The following is from Spurgeon’s sermon,
“PRAY, ALWAYS PRAY.”
Is prayer a reality with you, dear friends, or is it a mere mockery?
Is it a sort of religious rite that you feel bound to perform, or has it become as essential to your spiritual being as breathing is to your natural being? Is it now to you a matter of course that you should pray? Is it as natural for you to ask of your Father who is in heaven as it is for your little children to ask of you who are fathers on earth?
Prayer should be to you an instinct of your new nature, as natural to your spiritual being as a good appetite is to a man in health. There should be a holy hunger and thirst to pray, and the soul never prays so well as when it is reminded, not by the hour of the day or night, but by its real needs; and when it resorts to its place of private prayer, not because it thinks it ought, but because it feels that it must, and shall, and will go there, and is delighted at the privilege of having communion with its God.
Someone perhaps asks, “Why do you pray, when everything is settled by the divine decree?”
It is true that everything is so settled, and it is for that very reason that we do pray. The Spirit of God leads us to desire exactly what God has decreed, and though we cannot open and read the book of his decrees, the Holy Spirit can read that book, so he guides us to pray in accordance with its secret records, and he also makes intercession for us “according to the will of God.” A true prayer is the echo of the eternal purpose. Our prayers are the shadows before God’s mercies. He who can truly pray has first read the heart of God, and then spoken out what is there.
Our poor prayers are blotted, and blurred, and stained with sin, but our great high Priest sprinkles them with his own most precious blood, and so purifies them, and then, with his own dear hand, he lays them before the mercy-seat, and for his sake they are sure to be accepted.