The golden key of prayer

‘Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things,
which thou knowest not.’ Jeremiah 33:3

Suggested Further Reading: Matthew 26:36–46

Remember that prayer is always to be offered in submission to God’s will; that
when we say, God hears prayer, we do not intend by that, that he always gives
us literally what we ask for. We do mean, however, this, that he gives us what
is best for us; and that if he does not give us the mercy we ask for in
silver, he bestows it upon us in gold. If he does not take away the thorn in
the flesh, yet he says, ‘My grace is sufficient for thee,’ and that comes to
the same in the end. Lord Bolingbroke said to the Countess of Huntingdon, ‘I
cannot understand, your ladyship, how you can make out earnest prayer to be
consistent with submission to the divine will.’ ‘My lord,’ she said, ‘that is
a matter of no difficulty. If I were a courtier of some generous king, and he
gave me permission to ask any favour I pleased of him, I should be sure to put
it thus, ‘Will your majesty be graciously pleased to grant me such-and-such a
favour; but at the same time though I very much desire it, if it would in any
way detract from your majesty’s honour, or if in your majesty’s judgment it
should seem better that I did not have this favour, I shall be quite as
content to go without it as to receive it.’ So you see I might earnestly offer
a petition, and yet I might submissively leave it in the king’s hands.’ So
with God. We never offer up prayer without inserting that clause, either in
spirit or in words, ‘Nevertheless, not as I will, but as thou wilt; not my
will but thine be done.’ We can only pray without an ‘if’ when we are quite
sure that our will must be God’s will, because God’s will is fully our will.

For meditation: Prayer is not a weapon for forcing God to come into line with
our demands, but a gracious means of communication by which we can seek his
will and express our willingness to play our part in furthering it (1 John
5:14–15).

Sermon no. 619 / 12 March (1865)  – Charles Spurgeon

– Bible Gateway.Com

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