Here is the final installment of our five-part Charles Spurgeon on Prayer Series. (Scroll down for links to the other four parts of this series) In this section, Spurgeon challenges believers yet again with James 4:2 – and asks them to consider whether or not they are living without an intended blessing from God simply because they have not asked for it. “Never let it be said that your spiritual poverty is your own fault,” says Brother Spurgeon. How could our spiritual poverty be our own fault? Because we do not ask! Beloved – be sure that there are spiritual blessings and victories that God the Father desires to give us and that He purposes to give us; we will do WITHOUT those promises, however, if we do not ASK for them! That is the whole part and parcel of James 4:2. Read below and be encouraged by Spurgeon to Ask, Ask, Ask!
“It may be that many a spiritual thing, for which you may pray without doubt, has never become yours simply because you have never asked for it. Is not that a pity? What!? Nothing to pay; the priceless treasure a free grant, and yet I have it not because I do not ask for it! … Few need to be encouraged to apply for charity; and yet, while spiritual gifts are to be had for the asking, many have not, because they ask not. Open your mouth wide, brother, and ask for a great deal. Begin asking in real earnest, and never let it be said that your spiritual poverty is your own fault.
If it is ever true of us, “ye have not, because ye ask not,” what does it mean? It means that there are needful spiritual blessings which you do not desire with all your heart. In what a wrong condition your heart must be! When a person has no appetite for wholesome food, it is a sign of disease; and if you have no appetite for Divine grace, you must be sick in soul. Healthy children have large appetites; and God’s children, when they are healthy, hunger and thirst after righteousness. Why is it we do not desire these precious things? Very often, it is because we do not feel our need of them; and what a proud ignorance that is which does not know its need! If you were to look at yourself, brother, though you think yourself rich, and increased with goods, and needing nothing, you would see that you are naked, and poor, and miserable. What a sad thing it is that you should miss priceless blessings because you fondly fancy that you already possess them!
Or, possibly, you know your need, and are anxious to be supplied, and yet you do not ask because you have no faith in God upon the matter. How long have you known the Lord? Have you known Him a year? Is not this long enough to have gained confidence in Him? There are many persons whom you would rely upon at once, and hundreds whom you could trust with untold gold after having known them for a few hours. Can you not trust God this way? How is it that you dare to doubt Him? What a sin it must be to distrust One so faithful and true!
Or else it may be that you do not doubt either God’s ability or willingness to help you, but you have grown rusty in the knee; I mean, out of practice as to prayer. It is a very great evil when this is the case. When I have pains in my wrist, or in my foot, I have some hope of speedy recovery, but I am always despondent when the weakness is in the knee; then it is a very serious business. O brothers, well does the Scripture say, “Strengthen the feeble knees.” If we are not at home in prayer, everything is out of order. He who goes often to a room knows how to gain admittance, but a stranger loses himself in the halls. Familiarity with the mercy-seat is a great point in the education of a child of God; be sure that you gain it…
Beloved, let us wrestle in prayer; for untold blessings are to be had for the asking. As a church, we have been specially favored; but we have not exhausted the possibilities of prosperity, or the resources of heavenly power. There is a future for us, if we pray. Greater things than these lie behind that curtain; no hand can unveil them but the hand of prayer. The singular blessings which have rested upon us in the past call upon us to pray; the marked prosperity and unity of the present invite us to pray; and the hopes of the future encourage us to pray. Behold, the Lord says to you, “Ask, and ye shall receive.” Brothers, sisters, don’t lessen your asking; but, for the love of souls, multiply your petitions, and increase your importunity.”
“You do not have because you do not ask. You ask and don’t receive because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your evil desires. Adulteresses! Don’t you know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? So whoever wants to be the world’s friend becomes God’s enemy.“ James 4:2-3
Source: C. H. Spurgeon, Only a Prayer Meeting: Forty Addresses at Metropolitan Tabernacle and Other Prayer-Meetings
Complete Prayer Series Links: