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Prayer Week 5

Prayer Week 5

“Take fast hold of instruction; let her not go: keep her; for she is thy life.” — Proverbs 4:13.

BLESSED God, our hearts  praise you, our inmost souls exults in your Name, for the Lord is good, and His mercy endures for ever. Your people praise You, O God, for all that you have been to them, and we can  make known Your worthy praise because of our personal experience of Your goodness. You have dealt well with Your servants, O Lord, according to Your word. We bless You for teaching us from our youth, for some of us have known You, even from our childhood, and Your word was precious to us even in our earlier days, when, like young Samuel, we were spoken to of the Lord. Now You have borne and carried us these years in the wilderness with unchanging love and goodness, and there are some in Your presence this morning who know, You are GOD — You have made and keep us; You do not forsake the work of Your hands. “Your mercy endures for ever,” so let Your praise endure for ever,

O Lord, we would cling to You more firmly than before: we would say, “Return unto your rest, O my soul, for the Lord hath dealt bountifully with you, for You have delivered my soul from death, mine eyes from tears and my feet from falling.” We would this week “take the cup of salvation and call upon the name of the Lord.” We would pay our vows to the Lord now, in the courts of the Lord’s house, among His people.” Blessed be the Name of the Lord, we have been brought low, but the Lord hath helped us; we have often wandered, but He has restored us; we have been tried, but He has preserved us; yea, we have found His paths to be “paths of pleasantness” and all the ways of His wisdom to be “ways of peace.” We bear our willing witness to the testimony of the Lord, we set our seal that “He is true” and we cry again “Bind the sacrifice with cords, even with cords unto the horns of the altar.” From from now on let no man trouble us, for we “bear in our body the marks of the Lord Jesus.” We are His branded servants now and for ever. Our ear is nailed to our Master’s door-post, to go no more out for ever.

And now, Lord, we beseech You, hear the voice of our cry. Your people would first  ask You to deepen in them all the good works of You grace. We do repent of sin — give us a deeper repentance! May we have a horror of sin, may we dread the very approach of it, may we chastely flee from it and resolve, with sacred jealousy, that our hearts shall be for the Lord alone. We have faith in Jesus, blessed be Your name, but strengthen and deepen that faith! May He be all in all to us; may we never look elsewhere for ground to rest, but abide in Him with an unwavering, immutable confidence, that the Christ of God cannot fail nor be discouraged, but must for ever be the salvation of His people. We trust we can say also that we love the Lord, but Oh that we loved Him more! Let this blessed flame feed on the very marrow of our bones. May the zeal of Your house consume us, may we feel that we love the Lord with all our heart, with all our mind, with all our soul, with all our strength, and hence may there be about our life a special consecration, an immovable dedication unto the Lord alone.

O Lord Jesus, deepen our knowledge of You. You have made the first lines of Your likeness upon our character; go on with this work of sacred art till we shall be like You in all respects. We wish that we had greater power in private prayer, that we were more often wrestling with the covenant angel. We long that the Word of God was sweeter to us, more intensely precious, that we had a deeper hunger and thirst after it. Oh that our knowledge of the truth was clearer and our grip on it, more steadfast. Teach us, O Lord, to know the reason of the hope that is in us, and to be able to defend the faith against all comers. Plough deep in us, great Lord, and let the roots of Your grace strike into the roots of our being, until it shall be no longer I that live, but “Christ that lives in me.” Holiness also of life we crave after. Grant that our speech, our thoughts, our actions, may all be holiness, and “holiness unto the Lord.” We know that there be some that seek after moral virtue apart from God. Let us not be of their kind, but may our desire be that everything should be done as unto the Lord, for You have said, “Walk before Me, and be perfect.” Help us so to do, to have no master but our God, no law but His will, no delight but Himself. Oh, take these hearts, most glorious Lord, and keep them, for “out of them are the issues of life,” and let us be the instruments in Your hand, by daily vigilance, of keeping our hearts, so that in hearts we go not astray from the Lord our God. Until life’s latest hour may we keep the sacred pledges of our early youth. We do remember when we were baptized into the sacred Name — Oh never may we dishonour that sacred ordinance by which we declared that we were dead to the world and buried with Christ. Some of us do remember our early covenant with God, when we made over to Him ourselves and all that we had. Oh, in life’s last hour when we bow ourselves for weakness, may it be to bless that sacred bond and to “enter into the joy of our Lord.” And if You have taught us anything since then, if You have given us any virtue or any praise, may we hear You say, “Hold fast that which you have, that no man take thy crown.” Oh let no brother or sister become distinguished in grace and then decline, let none bear fruit and afterwards become barren, but may our path “shine more and more unto the perfect day.” It is this our spirit craves after with strong desire, that all of our life from the commencement with Christ to its ending, with our being with Christ, may glorify and bring help to His Church.

And now hear us again while we cry unto You. Our chief desire is for Your cause in the earth. We are often very heavy about it. ‘The days seem to us to be neither dark nor light, but mingled; oh that the element of light might overcome the darkness! We do pray you, to raise up in these days a race of men that shall know the gospel and hold it fast. We do feel that we have so much superficial religion, so much profession without true possession to back it up. Oh, Lord, may our churches be built with precious stones, and not with wood, hay, and stubble. May we so know the gospel that no one can beat us out of it; may we so hold it that our faces shall be like flints against the errors of the age; so practice it that our lives shall be an argument that none can answer, for the power of the gospel of Jesus. And with this be pleased to grant to Your churches more power over the sons of men. Oh Lord, make You ministers throughout all the world to be more fruitful in soul winning. Let us not rest without sowing the good seed beside all waters. Forgive us our coldness and indifference; forgive us that we sleep as do others, for it is high time for us to awake out of sleep. Oh Lord, do help us to live while we live; shake us clear of these cerements, these grave-clothes, which cling to us; say to us, most blessed Jesus, what You said concerning Lazarus of old, “Loose him, and let him go.” May we get right away from the old death and the old lethargy, and live under the best conditions of life, diligently serving God. Convert the nations, we pray You! Help our dear brethren who stand far out in the thick heathen darkness, like stone sentinels; let them bear their witness well, and may the day come when the Christian church shall become a missionary church, when all over the world those that love Christ shall be determined that He shall conquer. You have not yet made the church “terrible as an army with banners;” would God she were. May those days of Christian earnestness come to us, and then shall we look for the latter Day of Glory.

And now, Father, save any that remain unconverted. May this day be the day of their salvation. We would most earnestly entreat that some word may drop into the most careless heart; and this prayer especially, convert this day in this house of prayer, if it may please You, some that shall be very earnest Christians in years to come; take hold today of some who You have ordained to be like Paul, who shall be missionaries to the ends of the earth! Take hold of some that are specially set against You, some that are very bold spirits even in sin, thorough-hearted in their wickedness — convert such now! Say to them, “See I have made you a chosen vessel to bear my name unto the Gentiles,” and may there come such power with it that they may not be disobedient to the heavenly vision. Your Church needs such men. Oh that such were brought out to-day! We put it up as a prayer to be registered in heaven, and we mean to look for its answer, that You would today take hold of some men that shall become afterwards leaders in the Church of God, this day striking them down with the sense of sin and leading them to Christ.

Lord grant all this, with the forgiveness of our sins. The acceptance of our persons, and assist us ever to live to Your Glory, for Jesus sake. Amen

 C H Spurgeon for Sermon No: 1418 June 9th 1878

Edited, adapted, and modernised by Jeff Maxwell ©2012

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