September 9, 2013

True Prayer

Have you ever been in a group of people or at church and someone gets up to pray and they go on and on and you get the feeling they just like the sound of their own voice? Then someone else gets up and prays for 30 seconds and their genuine, fumbled prayer moves you?


Charles Spurgeon says of the latter..."This is real prayer. I prefer three minutes of prayer like that to thirty minutes of the other sort, because the one is praying and the other is attempting to preach."

He goes on to quote an old preacher:

"Remember, the Lord will not hear you because of the arithmetic of your prayers, counting their numbers. He will not hear you because of the rhetoric of your prayers, caring for the eloquent language in which they are conveyed. He will not listen because of the geometry of your prayers, computing them by their length or breadth. He will not regard you because of the music of your prayers, caring for sweet voices or for harmony. Neither will He look at you because of the logic of your prayers, because they are well arranged and excellently divided. 

...But He will hear you, and He will measure the amount of the blessings He will give you, according to the divinity of your prayers. If you can plead the person of Christ, and if the Holy Ghost inspires you with zeal and earnestness, the blessings that you shall ask, shall surely come to you."

Prayer from your heart, no matter what it sounds like, when inspired by the Holy Spirit is what God desires to hear from us.

Jesus said:  

"And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off?

 I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?" 

 To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everyone else, Jesus told this parable: 

 "Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 

The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed: 'God, I thank you that I am not like other people—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector.  I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.'  

But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, 'God, have mercy on me, a sinner.' 

I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted."  Luke 18:7-14


Note:  All quotes from Charles Spurgeon's book, The Power of Prayer in a Believer's Life.



















































































































39 comments:

  1. Cathy,
    Great quotes and thoughts on prayer...thank you :)
    Linking up behind you at SDG

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  2. Hi Cathy! What a blessing that you came to my blog today, and I get to meet you!

    Your post is very encouraging because it tells us our prayers, just as they are, are beautiful and precious to our Father. That book must really be making an impression on you, and I am so glad that you are sharing it with all of us.

    On a human level, I so agree with the point about an honest prayer. Sometimes you can just tell what prayer is heartfelt, can't you?

    So nice to meet you today :)
    Ceil

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    1. It took me awhile to get through this book but it was so worth it. Lots of great wisdom.

      Thanks for visiting back Ceil. It's nice to meet you too : )

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  3. Blessings to you Cathy! I love this post on prayer, timely for me, as I've posted a prayer for ACFW attendees. I've always found it hard to write a prayer, lol. I've also nominated you for the book lover's Liebster Award over at my blog! Congrats!

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    1. Thank-you Gwen! One other blogger nominated me as well and I am planning to post soon. I'll add your questions. : )

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  4. Yes Cathy - And how do we even know WHAT to pray except by the leading of the Holy Spirit! So agree...it's often now how many words we use, but the truth our heart as we seek Him diligently! UNITED in sisterhood, Jen

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    1. I'm glad He sees my heart because I'm not always good with words! Thanks for stopping by Jen. : )

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  5. I had never read that quote from Spurgeon. Thank you! I'll be thinking on the idea of divinity in prayer for a while!

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    1. Me too. I think he means prayer inspired by the Holy Spirit. Powerful stuff!

      Thanks for stopping by. : )

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  6. Love that Charles Spurgeon quote! The prayers of a righteous man...great post!

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    1. Thanks Nannette! Glad you stopped by. : )

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  7. What a great reminder of the purpose of prayer and why God hears us.

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    1. Yes! Thanks for stopping by Jen. : )

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  8. Great thoughts. We need to remember the purpose and heart of prayer.

    Thanks for linking up with Woman to Woman's Word Filled Wednesday! God bless.

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    1. Thanks Jenifer. Glad you came by. : )

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  9. Love the Spurgeon quote! This is a battle my husband I struggle with, struggling with fake prayer, being authentic, cringing at preaching prayers, cringing that we are at fault. I actually wrote a post about this a couple weeks ago-

    http://lifeofthechristianwife.blogspot.ca/2013/08/authentic-prayer.html

    Thank you for the reminder to pray from the heart!

    (visiting from #tellhisstory)



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    1. Hi Katrina, appreciate your honesty. I think we all have fallen in this. I'm not one to pray with to many people around but I do pray a lot with my children and have to stop myself when I start preaching to them in my prayers.

      I read your blog post and it's so beautiful. I hope others read this and check it out.

      Thanks for stopping by. : )

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  10. Many times! I don't like to pray out loud in a group bc I like to keep mine short, and I always feel like maybe they would be more meaningful if they were longer and more drawn out. Glad they don't have to be in order for God to hear and answer!

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    1. Me too! Thanks for stopping by Alecia. : )

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  11. Excellent! I have those quotes and love them! Humility is wisdom, and pride is insanity. Thank you for sharing at DRAH!

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    1. Aren't Charles Spurgeon quotes the best? I just love his wisdom and humility. Thanks for stopping by. ; )

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  12. A good reminder that brief prayer~if from the heart~is heard more by the Lord than prayer that rambles on. Heart-felt prayer.
    This book by Spurgeon sounds like a good one, Cathy.

    Blessings,
    Janis

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    1. It's soooo good. A little hard to read being written in the 1800's but so much good stuff to learn. Thanks for stopping by. : )

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  13. I love that quote! I have definitely heard prayers that sounded more like preaching than praying. :)
    Stopping by from Desire to Inspire

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    1. I loved that quote too, especially coming from a preacher! Thanks for stopping by. : )

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  14. Yes, yes, yes ... A thousand yeses.

    And if we'd remember that the power doesn't lie in our fancy words, but in our amazing God, maybe more of us wouldn't be scared to talk to God out loud.

    Thanks for your encouraging words here! And for linking with us at #TellHisStory.

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    1. It's hard sometimes to not focus on what we are saying and worry its the right thing to pray, but I'm learning to just focus on Him when I pray and not worry if I don't make sense. He knows what I'm trying to say. : )

      Thanks for stopping by Jennifer.

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  15. so much here... i read and re-read. thank you friend. i long for a deeper prayer life.

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  16. Hi there, I'm visiting from The Weekend Brew.
    I love Spurgeon and often I find myself reading his quotes and weighing them against Scripture. The length of our prayer doesn't matter it is the heart of the prayer that counts. Sometimes it is very difficult to pray out loud because there are so many judging ears around but if we keep ourselves chastised to what Father requires of us then it really doesn't matter what the other person thinks because, in truth, it is Father's opinion that counts.

    Great word!
    <><

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    1. I agree, but isn't it wonderful to pray with people who aren't listening to your words, but instead are sincerely praying along with you? Prayer is powerful when that happens. : )

      Thanks for stopping by!

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  17. There is an important lesson in Luke 18. Sometimes the shortest prayers say the most. A good reminder, Cathy.

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    1. I love how Jesus told stories to get a point across. I love His parables. : )

      Thanks for stopping by June!

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  18. I use to be afraid to pray out loud in public, or at church. I am thankful that God hears my prayers, little or big, but mostly little! I always try to be led by the Spirit when I pray. Most often it's short and to the point. Blessings!

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    1. Hi Barbie, me too, mine are often short. Thanks for stopping by. : )

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  19. This is such a good reminder! It's so easy to fall back into the trap of praying for the sake of others! Thank you for sharing this at Booknificent Thursday!
    Tina

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Feel free to leave your own thoughts in the comments. I try to respond to all of them by the end of the week. : )

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