Summary: Sermon on prayer
Today I want to begin a series of sermons on prayer. Most of the messages will be based on the writings and sermons of Charles Spurgeon that famous 19th century preacher who was known as the prince of preachers.
My goal in this series is to get you to pray more. I you are thinking that you pray enough that only goes to show how much you need these messages. I figure by the time we are done you will be praying for me to stop preaching on prayer.
If you look throughout the history of the church of Jesus Christ one thing that seems to hold true is that some of the most spiritual , and most comforting book and sayings have come from those were in this mist of tribulation. So of the greatest things ever written in the church were written from behind bars. I think of John Bunyan’s “A Pilgrim’s Progress” which is a tremendous book. This book was written by Bunyan while in jail for preaching the gospel. I could of course give other examples.
The words of Spurgeon ring true when he states, “God’s people have always in their worst condition found out the best of their God. He is good at all times, but he seems to be at His best when they are at their worst.”
Affliction seems to bring us closer to God. It seems to give us understand that we in that past did not have. As our days go darker the light of Christ seems to get brighter and brighter. I cannot tell you of the many things that God has shown me during times of struggle, thinks I would never had know where it not for those times.
Maybe you are in a situation right now that seems dark. Some sort of trial that the Lord has placed before you. I know that some of you are. My prayer today is that you would find comfort in the passage that we are going to be looking at. In our passage today we have the word of God spoken unto one of His prophets. A prophet who was at the time going through a dark time, sitting in prison. Please turn with me to our passage for this morning, it comes from the Book of Jeremiah 33:1-3. That is page 686 in your pew Bibles. Jeremiah is in jail for simply telling the people what God had told him to tell them. The people did not like what they heard so Jeremiah is thrown in prison.
Jer. 33:1-3; “Moreover the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah a second time, while he was still shut up in the court of the prison, saying, Thus says the LORD who made it, the LORD who formed it to establish it (the LORD is His name): Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know.”
Listen to the words of ver. 3 again; “Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know.” Let me tell you that there is great comfort in those words. In this verse we can see three distinct factors. 1. Prayer commanded “Call to me” 2. An answer is promised, “I will answer you”. and 3. An encouragement to faith, “and show you great and mighty things which you do not know.”.
Let us look at the first factor. Prayer is commanded by God. The Lord quite plainly in this verse “Call to me”. It is not a mere recommendation, it is not a suggestion, it is a command. “Call to me”.
If I were to build and staff a hospital and told everyone that admission and treatment would be free, do you think I would have to ask the government to make a law requiring people to come to my hospital. We have a soup kitchen in Oneonta, but no one thinks that we need a ordinance by the city council to compel those who are hungry to go and get a meal.
Yet is seems to me strange that man needs a command to be merciful to his own soul. We have gracious Father above who gives to us a commandment a love because the Father knows that we would rather starve then come to the banquet of prayer.
It seems odd that we need no command to eat, we need no command to sleep, no command to breath, yet just as those things are vital to our physical condition, prayer is equally vital to our Spiritual condition. Because God knows our stubborn hearts, He commands us to “call to me”.
Some may say will I forget to pray? Do you forget to eat, to you forget to sleep or breath? Again prayer equally as vital to our spiritual well being as food, and drink, sleep or air.