Morning, October 11, edited from Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening
“We lift up our heart and hands toward God in heaven.” — Lamentations 3:41
The act of prayer teaches us our unworthiness, which is a very beneficial lesson for such proud beings as we are. If God gave us favors without constraining us to pray for them we should never know how poor we are, but a true prayer is an inventory of wants, a catalogue of necessities, a revelation of hidden poverty. While it is an application to divine wealth, it is a confession of human emptiness. The healthiest state of a Christian is to be always empty of self and constantly depending upon the Lord for supply; to be always poor in himself and rich in Jesus; weak as water personally, but mighty through God to do great exploits; hence the value of prayer, because, while it adores God, it lays the creature where it should be, in the very dust. Prayer is in itself — apart from the answer which it brings — a great benefit to the Christian. As the runner gains strength for the race by daily exercise, so for the great race of life we acquire energy by the holy labor of prayer. Prayer preens the wings of God’s young eaglets, that they may learn to mount above the clouds. Prayer girds the waists of God’s warriors, and sends them forth to combat with their sinews braced and their muscles firm. An earnest pleader comes out of his closet, even as the sun rises from the chambers of the east, rejoicing like a strong man to run his race. Prayer is that uplifted hand of Moses which routs the Amalekites more than the sword of Joshua; it is the arrow shot from the chamber of the prophet foreboding defeat to the Syrians. Prayer encircles human weakness with divine strength, turns human folly into heavenly wisdom, and gives to troubled mortals the peace of God. We do not know anything prayer cannot do! We thank you, great God, for the mercy-seat of prayer, a special proof of your marvelous lovingkindness. Help us to use it rightly and often throughout this day!