The Wings of Prayer
While Charles Spurgeon has justly gone down in history as “the Prince of Preachers,” he was also a man who prayed very powerfully. Tony Capoccia has gone to the trouble of updating just a few of Spurgeon’s prayers, removing some of the antiquated language and replacing it with language that is a bit more familiar to us. Though these prayers are clearly geared to corporate prayer, they are valuable even to individuals as we seek to pray better, more powerfully, to our God. Here is one that Tony has titled “The Wings of Prayer.” I marked with bold type my favorite portion of the prayer.
Our Father, Your children who know You delight themselves in Your presence. We are never happier than when we are near You. We have found a little heaven in prayer. It has eased our load to tell You of its weight; it has relieved our wound to tell You of its hurt; it has restored our spirit to confess to You its wanderings. No place like the mercy seat for us.
We thank You, Lord, that we have not only found benefit in prayer, but in the answers to it we have been greatly enriched. You have opened Your hidden treasures to the voice of prayer; You have supplied our necessities as soon we have cried to You; yes, we have found it true: “Before they call I will answer, and while they are yet speaking I will hear.”
We do bless You, Lord, for instituting the blessed ordinance of prayer. What could we do without it, and we take great shame to ourselves that we should use it so little. We pray that we may be men and women of prayer, taken up with it, that it may take us up and bear us on its wings towards heaven.
And now at this hour will You hear the voice of our supplication. First, we ask at Your hands, great Father, complete forgiveness for all our sins and shortcomings. We hope we can say with truthfulness that we do from our heart forgive all those who have in any way trespassed against us. There lies not in our heart, we hope, a thought of enmity towards any man. However we have been slandered or wronged, we would, with our inmost heart, forgive and forget it all.
We come to You and pray that, for Jesus’s sake, and through the virtue of the blood once shed for many for the remission of sins, You would give us perfect pardon of every sin of the past. Blot out, O God, all our sins like a cloud, and let them never be seen again. Grant us also the peace- speaking word of promise supplied by the Holy Spirit, that being justified by faith we may have peace with God through Jesus Christ our Lord. Let us be forgiven and know it, and may there remain no lingering question in our heart about our reconciliation with God, but by a firm, full assurance based on faith in the finished work of Christ may we stand as forgiven men and women against whom transgression shall never be mentioned forever again.
And then, Lord, we have another mercy to ask which shall be the burden of our prayer. It is that You would help us to live such lives as pardoned men should live. We have but a little time to live here, for our life is but a vapor; soon it vanishes away; but we are most anxious that we may spend the time of our sojourning here in holy fear, that grace may be on us from the commencement of our Christian life even to the earthly close of it.
Lord, You know there are some that have not yet begun to live for You, and the prayer is now offered that they may today be born again. Others have been long in Your ways and are not weary of them. We Sometimes wonder that You arc not weary of us, but assuredly we delight ourselves in the ways of holiness more than ever we did. Oh! that our ways were directed to keep Your statutes without slipping or flaws. We wish we were perfectly obedient in thought, and word, and deed, entirely sanctified. We shall never be satisfied till we wake up in Christ’s likeness, the likeness of perfection itself. Oh! wake us to this perfection, we beseech You. May experience teach us more and more how to avoid occasions of sin. May we grow more watchful; may we have a greater supremacy over our own spirit; may we be able to control ourselves under all circumstances, and so act that if the Master were to come at any moment we should not be ashamed to give our account in His hands.
Lord, we are not what we want to be. This is our sorrow. Oh! that You would, by Your Spirit, help us in the walks of life to adorn the doctrine of God our Saviour in all things. As men of business, as work-people, as parents, as children, as servants, as masters, whatever we may be, may we be such that Christ may look on us with pleasure. May His joy be in us, for then only can our joy be full.
Dear Savior, we are Your disciples, and You are teaching us the art of living; but we are very dull and very slow, and beside, there is such a bias in our corrupt nature, and there are such examples in the world, and the influence of an ungodly generation tells even on those that know You. O, dear Saviour, do not be impatient with us, but still teach us at Your feet, till at last we shall have learned some of the sublime lessons of self-sacrifice, of meekness, humility, fervor, boldness, and love which Your life is fit to teach us. O Lord, we beseech You to mold us in Your own image. Let us live in You and live like You. Let us gaze on Your glory till we are transformed by the sight and become Christlike among the sons of men.
Lord, hear the confessions of any that have backslidden, who are rather marring Your image than perfecting it. Hear the prayers of any that are conscious of great defects during the past. Give them peace of mind by pardon, but give them strength of mind also to keep clear of such mischief in the future. O Lord, we are sighing and crying more and more after Yourself. The more we have of You the more we want You; the more we grow like You; the more we perceive our defects, and the more we pine after a higher standard to reach even to perfection itself.
Oh! help us. Spirit of the living God, continue still to work in us. Let the groanings that cannot be uttered be stilled within our Spirit, for these are growing pains, and we shall grow while we can sigh and cry, while we can confess and mourn; yet this is not without a blessed hopefulness that He that has begun a good work in us will perfect it in the day of Christ.
Bless, we pray You, at this time, the entire church of God in every part of the earth. Prosper the work and service of Christian people, however they endeavor to spread the kingdom of Christ. Convert the heathen; enlighten those that are in any form of error. Bring the entire church back to the original form of Christianity. Make her first pure and then she shall be united. O Savior, let Your kingdom come. Oh! that You would reign and Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
We pray You use every one of us according as we have ability to be used. Take us, and let no talent be wasted in the treasure house, but may every dollar of Yours be put out in trading for You in the blessed market of soul-winning. Oh! give us success. Increase the gifts and graces of those that are saved. Bind us in closer unity to one another than ever. Let peace reign; let holiness adorn us.
Hear us as we pray for all lands, and then for all sorts of men, from the Sovereign on the throne to the peasant in the cottage. Let the benediction of heaven descend on men, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.