A Fresh look at Pastoral Prayers

12 03 2014

I have incorporated  Charles Spurgeon’s pastoral prayers in my morning time with God for about one year. It has given me a fresh look at the way prayer is conducted and delegated in my church. He elevates his time in public prayer as more important than his time in preaching the Word (and he is called the “Prince of Preachers”). He delegates this prayer to no one. If you were to read a typical Sunday morning prayer at a normal pace, it would take over 10 minutes. He advised his preacher boys to not pray over 20 minutes.

Read the following paragraph that he wrote about public praying. I am going to post a couple of my pastoral prayers.

Pastor Dave

As a rule, if called upon to preach, conduct the prayer yourself, and if you should be highly esteemed in the ministry, as I trust you may be, make a point, with great courtesy, but equal firmness, to resist the practice of choosing men to pray with the idea of honouring them by giving them something to do. Our public devotions ought never to be degraded into opportunities for compliment. I have heard prayer and singing now and then called ‘the preliminary services,’ as if they were but a preface to the sermon; this is rare I hope among us — if it were common it would be to our deep disgrace. I endeavour invariably to take all the service myself for my own sake, and I think also for the people’s. I do not believe that ‘anybody will do for the praying.’ No, sirs, it is my solemn conviction that the prayer is one of the most weighty, useful, and honourable parts of the service, and that it ought to be even more considered than the sermon. There must be no putting up of anybodies and nobodies to pray, and then the selection of the abler man to preach. It may happen through weakness, or upon a special occasion, that it may be a relief to the minister to have some one to offer prayer for him; but if the Lord has made you love your ‘work you will not often or readily fulfil this part of it by proxy. If you delegate the service at all, let it be to one in whose spirituality and present preparedness you have the fullest confidence, but to pitch on a giftless brother unawares, and put him forward to get through the devotions is shameful.

The Pastor in Prayer: Being a Choice Selection of C.H. Spurgeon’s Sunday Morning Prayers.

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