Spurgeon on the Priority of Prayer • Compiled by Jason K. Allen

July 2021 • Paperback • 978-0-8024-2628-4

When Spurgeon speaks, you’d be wise to listen.

The great London preacher Charles Haddon Spurgeon had a lot to say during his four decades of ministry at the Metropolitan Tabernacle. And beyond his mighty voice, Spurgeon’s pen churned out countless words of biblical interpretation and Christian wisdom. These words can still encourage us today!

Volume 1 of the Spurgeon Speaks series collects Spurgeon’s reflections and meditations on the importance of prayer in the Christian life. He was known as a mighty man of prayer, and his insights will deepen your prayer life as well.

Presented in lovely editions that you’ll be proud to have on your shelf, the Spurgeon Speaks series offers focused readings on topics that were important to the Prince of Preachers. Expertly selected by Jason Allen and updated for twenty-first century readers, this series will be a valued addition to the library of pastors, scholars, and anyone who appreciates the legacy of Charles Haddon Spurgeon.


Dr. Jason Allen is the fifth and youngest president of Midwestern Baptist Seminary. He has served as pastor and interim pastor of Southern Baptist churches in Alabama and Kentucky over the past fifteen years. He currently serves the church more broadly through writing and preaching ministries, including his own website www.jasonkallen.com, where he writes on various topics including higher education, theology, preaching, and cultural and local church issues. He and his wife, Karen, have five children: Anne-Marie, Caroline, William, Alden, and Elizabeth.


The Conditions of Power in Prayer

1 John 3:22-24

The essentials of the power of prayer are given: child-like obedience, childlike reverence, childlike trust, and childlike love. If there is prevalence of these essentials, our prayers will not be unprofitable. We look at our lives when approaching God and rely on His Spirit to direct our prayers.

“Whatever may have been your previous condition of life, if now penitently you seek the Lord’s face, through the appointed Mediator, you will find Him.”

“We believe that the prayers of Christians are a part of the machinery of providence, cogs in the great wheel of destiny, and when God leads His children to pray, He has already set in motion a wheel that is to produce the result prayed for, and the prayers offered are moving as a part of the wheel.”

And whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do those things that are pleasing in His sight. And this is His commandment: that we should believe on the name of His Son Jesus Christ and love one another. as He gave us commandment. Now he who keeps His commandments abides in Him, and He in him. And by this we know that He abides in us, by the Spirit in whom He has given us. – 1 John 3:22-24

I thought of addressing you this morning on the importance of prayer, and I designed to stir you up to pray for me and the Lord’s work in this place. Truly, I do not think I could have had a weightier subject or one that weighs more upon my soul. If I offered one request to you, it would be this: “pray for us.” Of what use can our ministry be without the divine blessing, and how can we expect the divine blessing unless the church seeks it? I would say it even with tears: “pray for us.” Be abundant in intercession, for only so can our prosperity as a church be increased or continued.

The question occurred to me: What if there is something in the church that would prevent our prayers being successful? That is a previous question that ought to be considered most earnestly even before we exhort you to pray. As Isaiah 1 teaches, the prayers of an unholy people soon become abominations to God. “When you spread out your hands, I will hide My eyes from you; Even though you make many prayers, I will not hear.”

Churches may fall into such a state that their devotions will be an iniquity. Even the solemn meeting will weary the Lord. There may be evils in our hearts that may render it impossible for God to regard our intercessions. If we have iniquity in our hearts, the Lord will not hear us.

According to our text, some things are essential to prevalence in prayer. God will hear all true prayer, but there are certain things God’s people must possess, or their prayers will fail. The text tells us, “whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do those things that are pleasing in His sight.” Our subject is the essentials to power in prayer: what we must do, be, and have if we are to prevail habitually with God in prayer. Let us learn how to become Elijahs and Jacobs.

We must make a few distinctions at the outset. There is a great difference between the prayer of a soul seeking mercy and the prayer of a saved person. If you sincerely seek mercy of God through Jesus Christ, you shall have it. Whatever may have been your previous condition of life, if now penitently you seek the Lord’s face, through the appointed Mediator, you will find Him. If the Holy Spirit has taught you to pray, hasten to the cross and rest your guilty soul on Jesus.