Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Spurgeon on Reading the Bible and Praying

This past Sunday morning at church we looked at Steps to Revival and talked about returning to the works we did at first, when we first trusted in Christ. Getting back to the basics of our walk with Jesus is vital – we need a renewed vigor for reading His word and seeking His will in prayer.

Along those lines, the following comes from my favorite pastor, Charles Spurgeon, and his 1867 sermon “A Song at the Well-head” (HT to Justin Taylor):

“You are retired for your private devotions; you have opened the Bible, and you begin to read.
Now, do not be satisfied with merely reading through a chapter. Some people thoughtlessly read through two or three chapters—stupid people for doing such a thing!

It is always better to read a little and digest it, than it is to read much and then think you have done a good thing by merely reading the letter of the word.

For you might as well read the alphabet backwards and forwards, as read a chapter of Scripture, unless you meditate upon it, and seek to comprehend its meaning.

Merely to read words is nothing: the letter kills.

The business of the believer with his Bible open is to pray, “Lord, give me the meaning and spirit of your word, while it lies open before me; apply your word with power to my soul, threatening or promise, doctrine or precept, whatever it may be; lead me into the soul and marrow of your word.”

Also, it is not the form of prayer, but the spirit of prayer that shall truly benefit your souls.
That prayer has not benefited you, which is not the prayer of the soul.

You have need to say, “Lord, give me the spirit of prayer; now help me to feel my need deeply, to perceive your promises clearly, and to exercise faith upon them.”

In your private devotions, strive after vital godliness, real soul-work, the life-giving operation of the Spirit of God in your hearts.”

May God bless us with real soul-work as we spend time in prayer and His word!

- David Crowe

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