Spurgeon's Lectures to My Students - Our Public Prayer (Pt 2)
Series Readings from C. H. Spurgeon
In this final part of his lecture concerning public prayer; Mr. Spurgeon expresses his very strong belief that the use of “common vulgarities” as he calls them should not at all be used in public prayer.
He is forceful in stressing that if preachers quote Scripture in their prayers, then they should make certain they quote it correctly. He illustrates this point by quoting examples he is aware of, where words have been changed, or where, as he puts it, there has been – “unhappy alterations of Scripture language.” “If you cannot make extracts from Scripture correctly,” he says, “why quote it at all in your petitions.”
He describes as “unnatural” preachers “praying with their eyes open”. He makes reference to “Action in prayer”; and that – “The voice should accord with the matter”; it “should never be boisterous, or self-asserting”: but – “humble and reverent let those tones be in which man talketh with his God.”
It seems that he favoured varying the order of service “as much as possible”, and he gave his students advice to “vary the length of your public prayers” – particularly suggesting that they should not be too long.
Mr. Spurgeon gave advice that preachers should – “vary the current (topics) of your prayers in intercession”, and that preachers should – “keep from all attempts to work up spurious fervour in public devotion.”
Preparation for prayer should mean that any such preparation should be – “not the preparation of the head, but of the heart”, and he draws to a close by telling his students – “while your people may sometimes feel that the sermon was below the mark, may they also feel that the prayer compensated for it all.”
|Jan 15, 2011