These are some excerpts from one the public prayers of Charles Spurgeon (taken from chapter 2 of A Pastor in Prayer published by Banner of Truth). I have found great encouragement and instruction in “listening to Spurgeon pray.” I find that the richness of his (and other historical figures) prayers increase the horizon of my own understanding and deepen the well of my desire to pray. It is not uncommon for me to begin praying as I am reading this wonderful little book. My hope that for all (anyone?) reading this that they too will find themselves encouraged and enriched in their walk with God.
“Gracious God, we praise Thee with our whole hearts for the wondrous revelation of Thy love in Christ Jesus our Lord. We think every day of his passion, for all our hope lies in His death: but as often as we think upon it, we are still filled with astonishment that Thou shouldst so love the world as to give Thine only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life; that heaven’s darling should come to earth to be made a man, and in manhood’s form to be despised and rejected of the very men whom He came to bless; and then should be made to bear the sin of many and to be numbered with the transgressors, and being found in that number to die a transgressor’s death, a felon’s death upon the gibbet of the cross….Thy grace has almost out-graced itself, Thy love has reached its height; love to rebels; so to love that even Thy Son could not be spared. O God, we are afflicted in our hearts to think we do not love Thee more after such love as this.” p.7-8
“But yet Lord, it never has affected us as we could have expected it would. Give us more tenderness of heart, give us to feel the wounds of Jesus till they wound our sins to death. Give us to have a heart pierced even as His was, with deep sympathy for His griefs, and an all-consuming love for His blessed Person. We adore Thee, O Father, for Thy great love in the gift of Jesus: we equally adore Thee most blessed Jesus, for resigning Thy life four our sakes: and then we adore the Blessed Spirit who has led us to know this mystery and to put our trust in in Jesus.” p 8
“Let no one person here be so callous to the merit of Christ as not to love Him, or so indifferent to the efficacy of His blood as not to desire to be cleansed by it….Our Lord and Master, Redeemer and Saviour, come and take entire possession of us. We own Thy right, but Thou must take it by force what Thou hast purchased, or Thou wilt never have it. By force of arms, the arms must be those of love, wilt Thou capture our wilful, wayward spirit. Come and divide the spoil with the strong in us we pray Thee. Take every faculty and use it, overpower and sanctify it. Every moment of our time help us to employ for Thee, every breath may we breathe our of Thine honour. We feel that there is unconquered territory in our nature yet. Subdue, Lord, we beseech Thee, our corruptions, cast them out, and in our spirit rule and conquer….Above all cast cords of love around our hearts. Oh, hold us Saviour, never let us go. Suffer no professed Christian here ever to violate the loyalty of his obedience to his King. May those dear wounds of His have more sway over us than ever silver sceptre had over the subjects of earthly princes. May we feel that if He drank for us the vinegar and gall, whatever cup He sets before us we will cheerfully drink.” p. 9-10