Eloquent prayers

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(Charles Spurgeon)

If the eloquence of our prayers mattered to God, then eloquence would be more valuable than grace–but it is not so.

Some of us may be able to express ourselves very fluently from the force of natural abilities–but it should always be an anxious question to us, whether our prayer is a prayer which God will receive.

We often pray best when we stammer and stutter–and we often pray worst when words flow articulately one after another! God is not moved by eloquent prayers–they are but empty noise to Him. He is only moved by sincere emotions which dwell in the innermost heart.

For a man to bend his knees and utter the hypocritical language of affection to God which he never feels in his heart–is little short of blaspheming God! We must have very light thoughts of God, when we try to deceive Him with such prayers as these!

I often say my prayers
But do I ever pray?
And do the wishes of my heart
Go with the words I say?

I may as well kneel down
And worship gods of stone,
As offer to the living God
A prayer of words alone.

For words without the heart
The Lord will never hear;
Nor will He to those lips attend
Whose prayers are not sincere.
John Burton, 1803-1877

  ~  ~  ~  ~

You may want to read J.C. Ryle’s superb article on the same topic, “A Call to Prayer“. 

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