A Lesson on Prayer from a Depressed Charles Spurgeon

Any time I’ve asked a group of church-goers how they feel about their prayer life, the answer is always that it could be better. In fact, I don’t believe even once I’ve heard someone say they’re content in it. Part of the reason for this is simply bound up in the reality that as Don Whitney says, “…when we pray, we tend to say the same old things about the same old things. And when you’ve said the same old things about the same old things about a thousand times, how do you feel about saying them again? Bored!” This really is a tremendous insight that cuts to the heart of much of the issue people face with prayer. Rote repetition is their prayer life—is it any wonder that in the midst of prayer their minds wander to something else, almost as if it is begging for something more engaging. Prayer should be engaging. Yet often it is anything but and we know it, and because we know we are to do it to be faithful, we limp through it out of sheer guilt.

If this describes you and your prayer life, I would earnestly recommend purchasing Don Whitney’s book and putting it into practice. Instead of tasking the reader with multiple steps to a better prayer life, Whitney advocates a simple approach: you pray using scripture as your source, namely, the psalms. The reason being we can avoid vain repetition in our prayers, use inspired text that covers a wide range of emotions, doctrines, and troubles, and initiate the conversation of prayer with God freely. The goal is that our prayers are informed by the Word of God. In essence, we are speaking God’s own words back to Him, and the result is that we not only have biblically saturated prayer, but we know these will be prayers God honors and is honored by. Another great resource that I’d recommend is D.A. Carson’s book, which has a similar proposal utilizing the apostle Paul’s prayers.

Read more of this blog: https://www.patheos.com/blogs/chorusinthechaos/lesson-prayer-depressed-charles-spurgeon/

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