O God, save thy people! Save thy people! A solemn charge hast thou given to thy servant. Ah! Lord, it is all too solemn for such a child. Help him, help him by thine own grace, to discharge it as he ought. O Lord, let thy servant confess that he feels his prayers are not as earnest as they should be for his people’s souls; that he does not preach so frequently as he ought with that fire, that energy, that true love for men’s souls. But O Lord, damn not the hearers for the preacher’s sin. O destroy not the flock for the shepherd’s iniquity. Have mercy on them, good Lord, have mercy on them, O Lord have mercy on them!
There are some of them, father, that will not have mercy on themselves. How have we preached to them and laboured for them. God thou knowest that I lie not. How have I striven for them that they might be saved! But the heart is too hard for man to melt, and the soul made of iron too hard for flresh and blooed to render soft.
O God, the God of Israel, thou can save. There is the pastor’s hope, there is the minister’s trust. He cannot, but thou canst, Lord. They will not come but thou canst make them willing in the day of thy power. They will not come unto thee that they may have life; but thou canst draw them and then they shall run after thee. They cannot come; but thou canst give them power; for though “no man cometh except the Father draw him,” yet if he draws him, then he can come.
O Lord, for another year has thy servant preached – thou knowest how. It is not for him to plead his cause with thee … But now, O Lord, we beseech thee, bless our people. Let this our church, thy church, be still knit together in unity; and this night may they commence a fresh era of prayer. They are a praying people, blessed be thy name, and they pray for their minister with all their hearts. O Lord, help them to pray more earnestly. May we wrestle in prayer more than ever and beseige thy throne until thou makest Jerusalem a praise, not only here, but everywhere.
But, Father, it is not the church we weep for; it is not the church we groan for; it is the world. O Faithful Promiser, hast thou not promised to thy son thy Son that he should not die in vain? Give Him souls, we beseech thee, that he might be abundantly satisfied. Hast thou not promised that thy church shall be increased? O increase her, increase her. And hast thou not promised that thy ministers shall not labour in vain? For thou hast said, “as the rain cometh down and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, even so shall thy word be: it shall not return unto thee void.”
Let not the word return void tonight; but now may thy servant in the most earnest manner, with the most fervent heart, burning with love to souls, preach once more the glorious gospel of the blessed God. Come, Holy Spirit, we can do nothing without thee. We solemnly invoke thee, great Spirit of God! Thou who didst rest on Abraham, on Isaac and on Jacob; thou who in the night visions speaketh unto men. Spirit of the Prophets, Spirit of the Apostles, Spirit of the Church, be thou our Spirit this night, that the earth may tremble, that souls may be made to hear thy word, and that all flesh may rejoice together to praise thy name. Unto Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, the dread Supreme, be everlasting praise. Amen
-Charles Spurgeon (Quoted from ‘Spurgeon, A New Biography’ by Arnold Dallimore @ pg. 77-78)
I have been blazing through this biography for the last two days, but this quote, which is indicative of Spurgeon’s prayer life, particularly arrested my attention. D.L. Moody was asked after visiting England, “Did you hear Spurgeon preach?” He replied, “Yes, but better still, I heard him pray.”
Tomorrow is Gospel Night for VBS and I am one of the three presenters. One of my greatest fears for myself is that I will relegate the time allotted as a mere exercise of charisma, or a presentation that has no power and is to be forgotten a week later. In short, I am afraid that my heart’s posture would assume that nothing supernatural can occur with elementary kids, that my pragmatism would transcend my faith. On another note, I usually tell people that this is both the most difficult and the sweetest speaking assignment I get all year (harder than CCM, Sunday morning, etc) for reasons I might explain later. All of me joins CHS in this prayer and I plead, so do you.
So then neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but God who causes the growth.
I Corinthians 3:7