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Friday, September 29th, 2023
the Week of Proper 20 / Ordinary 25
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Charles Spurgeon's "Morning & Evening"
Devotional: March 28th

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“Men ought always to pray.”

Luke 18:1-14

Our time will be well spent if we study one of our Lord’s discourses upon prayer. It consists of two parables.

Luke 18:1

To commence prayer is easy, but to continue in it is another thing. We too often flag and grow remiss, and so we lose the blessing.

Luke 18:5

He was a wicked, unfeeling man, ready enough to pervert justice and grant the suit to the oppressor; his petitioner was a poor woman, bereft of her natural protector, and quite unable to affect his hard heart by her sad tale; yet her importunity won her suit, he was afraid of being tired to death, and therefore he attended to her cry. Every part of the parable strengthens our case, for we deal with a faithful and gracious God, who is ready to hear us; we are poor and feeble, it is true, but we have a powerful Advocate in the great Husband of the church; therefore if we do not obtain our request the first time, we should pray again and again, and never cease till our importunity obtains its end.

Luke 18:7

They are no strangers, but “his own elect;” surely he will hear them.

Luke 18:8

The prayers of the suffering church will not have long to wait. God’s time comes on.

Luke 18:8

It is so scarce that even He who best can discover faith will hardly find any of it. Shame upon our unbelief.

Luke 18:11

He stood by himself as if too holy to be touched by others, and his prayer was indeed, no prayer, but a self-glorification

Luke 18:12

Under the pretence of praising God, he praised himself. It is all “I,” “I fast,” “I give,” and so on. Nor was this enough, he indulged in uncharitable reflections upon others, making at the same time a list of his own virtues and a catalogue of other men’s failings, and crowning all with a sneer at his neighbour.

Luke 18:13

He confessed his sin, he smote upon his heart as the cause of it, he pleaded for mercy, and he had an eye to the atonement, for his prayer really meant, “Be propitious towards me through sacrifice.”

Luke 18:14

He had a sweet sense of pardon in his breast, and the other had it not, for indeed he had not even asked for it:

Luke 18:14

From all this let us learn to pray importunately, but not proudly. We must be earnest, but yet humble. We may be bold, but not arrogant. Lord teach us to pray.

The Lord their different language knows,

And different answers he bestows;

The humble soul with grace he crowns,

Whilst on the proud his anger frowns.

Dear Father! let me never be

Join’d with the boasting Pharisee;

I have no merits of my own,

But plead the sufferings of thy Son.


“The Lord weigheth the spirits.”

Proverbs 16:1-16

Let us learn a little of the wisdom of Solomon, from

Proverbs 16:1

We are neither able to think nor speak anything aright without divine aid. Especially in prayer, we require to have the heart prepared, and the mouth opened by the Spirit of all grace.

Proverbs 16:2

We judge by the eye, superficially, but the Lord uses surer tests, and puts everything into his unerring balances; hence he arrives at a very different conclusion from ours.

Proverbs 16:3

Both our bodily and spiritual interests will be safe when we place them in the Lord’s hands, and, through the peace which will result from our faith, our thoughts will become steady, calm, resolute, and joyful.

Proverbs 16:4

Let them rebel as they may, he will make them fulfil some purpose in his providential arrangements.

Proverbs 16:5

The pride of the wicked makes them abominable, but their power cannot protect them. God will break up all godless societies, however strong they may be.

Proverbs 16:7

This the Lord often does, as in the cases of Isaac and Abimelech, Jacob and Esau; but this truth must be qualified by another the Lord’s enemies will not be at peace with us, let us live as graciously as we may.

Proverbs 16:9

Man proposes, but God disposes. Napoleon sneered at this saying, and vowed that he would propose and dispose too, but his end was not far off.

Proverbs 16:10

This should be true, and of Solomon it was true, but of many a king the reverse might be spoken. There is one King, the Lord of all, concerning whom this is divinely certain.

Proverbs 16:11

Justice should rule everywhere, both on the bench and over the counter. Let us be very exact in all our dealings, lest we grieve the Lord.

Proverbs 16:15

This is most true of the King of kings, his wrath is death, his love is life. Those who enjoy the conscious favour of the Lord, know by experience the refreshing and comforting influence of his presence. To walk in the light of God’s countenance is perfect bliss, to lose fellowship with him, is to his chosen the bitterest sorrow.

Proverbs 16:16

It is better, much better, none can say how much better. Gold comes from common providence, but grace is the token of electing love. Gold is but a nobler form of earth, but grace is the essence of heaven. Gold is soon spent, but grace abides to enrich us. Gold may be stolen from us, but grace none can take away. Gold and silver cannot comfort us in death, but the true wisdom can. Wealth of precious metals will be useless in eternity, but grace will make us glorious there. Lord, evermore give us understanding through thy Holy Spirit!

Thine for ever! Lord of life,

Shield us through our earthly strife;

Thou the Life, the Truth, the Way,

Guide us to the realms of day.

Thine for ever! O how blest

They who find in thee their rest;

Saviour, guardian, heavenly friend,

O defend us to the end.

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