As we prepare to join in corporate worship today, we would do well to consider what God accomplishes through such precious means of grace. Here is Spurgeon, in his early days, calling us to let sermons and prayers be our delight.
Let sermons and prayers be thy delight, because they are roads wherein the Saviour walketh. Let the righteous be thy constant company, for such ever bring Him where they come. It is the least thing thou canst do to stand where grace usually dispenseth its favor. Even the beggar writes his petition on the flagstone of a frequented thoroughfare, because he hopeth that among the many passers, some few at least will give him charity; learn from him to offer thy prayers where mercies are known to move in the greatest number, that amid them all there may be one for thee.
Keep thy sail up when there is no wind, that when it blows thou mayst not have need to prepare for it; use means when thou seest no grace attending them, for thus wilt thou be in the way when grace comes. Better go fifty times and gain nothing than lose one good opportunity. If the angel stir not the pool, yet lie there still, for it may be the moment when thou leavest it will be the season of his descending.
Think it not possible to pray too frequently, but at morning, at noon, and at eventide, lift up thy soul unto God. Let not despondency stop the voice of thy supplication, for He who heareth the young ravens when they cry, will in due time listen to the trembling words of thy desire. Give Him no rest until he hear thee; like the importunate widow, be thou always at the heels of the great One; give not up because the past has proved apparently fruitless, remember Jericho stood firm for six days, but yet when they gave an exceeding great shout, it fell flat to the ground. “Arise, cry out in the night: in the beginning of the watches pour out thine heart like water before the face of the Lord. Let tears run down like a river day and night: give thyself no rest; let not the apple of thine eye cease.” Let groans, and sighs, and vows keep up perpetual assault at heaven’s doors.
“Heav’n’s never deaf, but when man’s heart is dumb.”
There is not a single promise which, if followed up, will not lead thee to the Lord. He is the centre of the circle, and the promises, like radii, all meet in him and thence become Yea and Amen. As the streams run to the ocean, so do all the sweet words of Jesus tend to himself: launch thy bark upon any one of them, and it shall bear thee onward to the broad sea of his love.
The sure words of Scripture are the footsteps of Jesus imprinted on the soil of mercy—follow the track and find Him. The promises are cards of admission not only to the throne, the mercy-seat, and the audience-chamber, but to the very heart of Jesus. Look aloft to the sky of Revelation, and thou wilt yet find a constellation of promises which shall guide thine eye to the star of Bethlehem. Above all, cry aloud when thou readest a promise, “Remember thy word unto thy servant, on which thou hast caused me to hope.”
(This is excerpted from “The Saint and His Savior” and reproduced at the end of “The Pastor in Prayer.”)