Sent: Friday, August 12, 2005 11:23 AM
Does God Hear the Sinner's Prayer? --


From Brother Emmett O'Donnell / Spurgeon's Gems' website:
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From "The Ravens Cry"
Volume 12, Year 1866, Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, page 56.

Perhaps you have been puzzling yourself to know whether your cry is a natural or a spiritual one. This may seem very important, and doubtless is so— but whether your cry is either the one or the other, still continue to seek the Lord! Possibly you doubt whether natural cries are heard by God. Let me assure you that they are.

I remember saying something on this subject on one occasion in a certain Ultra-Calvinistic place of worship. At that time I was preaching to children and was exhorting them to pray. I happened to say that long before any actual conversion I had prayed for common mercies, and that God had heard my prayers. This did not suit my good Brethren of the superfine school! And afterwards they all came round me professedly to know what I meant, but really to cavil and carp according to their nature and practice.

“They compassed me about like bees. Yes, like bees they compassed me about!” After awhile, as I expected, they fell to their usual amusement of calling names. They began to say what rank Arminianism this was! And another expression they were pleased to honor me with, was the title of “Fullerist”—a title, by the way, so honorable that I could heartily have thanked them for appending it to what I had advanced!

But to say that God should hear the prayer of natural men was something worse than Arminianism to them, if, indeed, anything could be worse! They quoted that counterfeit passage, “The prayer of the wicked is an abomination unto the Lord,” which I speedily answered by asking them if they would find me that text in the Word of God, for I ventured to assert that the devil was the author of that saying, and that it was not in the Bible at all.

“The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination unto the Lord” is in the Bible, but that is a very different thing from the “prayer of the wicked.”

And moreover there is a decided difference between the word wicked there intended and the natural man about whom we were arguing. I do not think that a man who begins to pray in any sense can be considered as being altogether among “the wicked” intended by Solomon, and certainly he is not among those who turn away their ears from hearing the Law, of whom it is written that their prayer is an abomination.

“Well, but,” they said, “how could it be that God could hear a natural prayer?”

And while I paused for a moment, an old woman in a red cloak pushed her way into the little circle round me and said to them in very forcible way, like a mother in Israel as she was, “Why do you raise this question, forgetting what God Himself has said! What is this you say, that God does not hear natural prayer? Why, doesn’t He hear the young ravens when they cry unto Him? And do you think they offer spiritual prayers?

Straightway the men of war took to their heels—no defeat was more thorough—and for once in their lives they must have felt that they might possibly err!

Surely, Brethren, this may encourage and comfort you! I am not going to set you just now to the task of finding out whether your prayers are natural or spiritual—whether they come from God’s Spirit or whether they do not—because that might, perhaps, discourage you. If the prayer proceeds from your very heart, we know how it got there, though you may not. God hears the ravens, and I do believe He will hear you, and I believe, moreover, though I do not now want to raise the question in your heart, that He hears your prayer, because though you may not know it—there is a secret work of the Spirit of God going on within you which is teaching you to pray.

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Other Internet Resources on Spurgeon:

Spurgeon Gems
SingleVision Ministries

Spurgeon.US ><
Spurgeon Archive
"The Prince of Preachers Live!" ><
Christian Classics ><
Spurgeon sermons in SPANISH ><
Spurgeon's Devotionals ><
CHS' Sermons on Cassette ><

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