Morning & Evening Daily Devotional Reading– February 19
by Charles H. Spurgeon, Revised and Edited by William C. Neff
“The people in Israel must ask me to do this, and I will.”
Prayer is the forerunner of mercy. Look at sacred history, and you will find that mercy hardly ever came to this world unannounced by prayer. You have found this true in your own personal experience. God has given you many unsolicited favors, but still great prayer has always been the prelude of great mercy with you. When you first found peace through the blood of the cross, you had been praying about it and earnestly interceding with God that He would remove your doubts and deliver you from your distresses. Then, your assurance was the result of prayer. When you were delivered out of great troubles and received mighty helps in great dangers, you have been able to say, “I sought the Lord, and He heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.”
Prayer is always the preface to blessing. It goes before the blessing as the blessing’s shadow. When the sunlight of God’s mercies rises upon our necessities, it casts the shadow of prayer far down upon the ground. Or, to use another analogy, when God piles up a hill of mercies, He Himself shines behind them, and He casts on our spirits the shadow of prayer. Therefore, we can be sure, if we are much in prayer, that our pleadings are the shadows of His approaching mercy.
Prayer is also connected with blessings in order to show us the value of it. If we had the blessings without asking for them, we should think them common things; but prayer makes our mercies more precious than diamonds. The things we ask for are precious, but we don’t realize their preciousness until we have sought for them earnestly.
Let’s live today in the shadow of God’s mercy and commit ourselves to much prayer. [M&E]