Morning & Evening Devotional Reading–
by C. H. Spurgeon, Revised and Edited by W. C. Neff
“But I give myself unto prayer.”
Lying tongues were busy against the reputation of David, but he did not defend himself; instead, he moved the case into a higher court and pleaded before the great King himself. Prayer is the safest method of replying to words of hatred. And David prayed in no cold-hearted manner; he gave himself to the exercise and threw his whole soul and heart into it– straining every sinew and muscle, as Jacob did when wrestling with the angel. In this way, and in this way only, should any of us come to the throne of grace.
As a shadow has no power because there is no substance in it, even so prayer, in which a man’s true self is not thoroughly present in agonizing earnestness and vehement desire, is utterly ineffectual, for it lacks that which would give it force. “Fervent prayer,” says an old theologian, “like a cannon planted at the gates of heaven, makes them fly open.”
The common fault with most of us is our readiness to yield to distractions. Our thoughts go roving here and there, and we make little progress towards our desired end. Like handling mercury, our mind scatters in all directions and rolls off this way and that. How great an evil this is! It injures us! And what is worse is that it insults our God. What should we think of a person who is summoned by a prince, but, while talking to him, plays with a feather or catches a fly?
Continuance and perseverance are to be part of our prayers. David did not cry once and then relapse into silence; his holy appeal continued until it brought down the blessing. Prayer must not be our occasional hobby, but our daily business– our habit and vocation. As artists give themselves to their models and poets to their classical pursuits, so must we addict ourselves to prayer. We must be immersed in it. Lord, teach us to pray and then to do it without ceasing. [M&E]