The matter, and importance, of the minister's, pastor's, or preacher's private prayer life, occupies the whole of this third lecture, originally given by C. H. Spurgeon to his students at the Pastor's College. He pleads for much prayer before, and indeed after each sermon, as well as stressing the significance of the minister's private daily devotions.
Whilst not always being in the act of prayer, the minister should always be praying. Prayer, we learn - "will be your ablest assistant while your discourses are set upon the anvil." Texts, we are told - "will often refuse to open their treasures, till you open them with the key of prayer."
"Nothing can so gloriously fit you to preach, as descending from the Mount of God to speak to men."
The preacher who neglects to pray, is described as - "careless about his ministry, "not having computed the value of a soul, or estimated the meaning of eternity." "Most of us" - says Mr. Spurgeon - "need self-examination as to this matter."
Mr. Spurgeon describes the difficulty of defining "preaching with unction", but explained it thus - "he who preaches knows its presence, and he who hears knows its absence." "It is," he says, "a dew from the Lord."
Those who seek to counterfeit devotion are rebuked, and again, refering to inspiration and unction we are told - "to the secret pleader with God this secret is committed; upon him rests the dew of the Lord ............ only in prayer can we obtain it, let us continue instant, constant, fervent in supplication."
Charles Haddon Spurgeon (1834-92) was England's best-known preacher for most of the second half of the nineteenth century. In 1854, just four years after his conversion, Spurgeon, then only 20, became pastor of London's famed New Park Street Church (formerly pastored by the famous Baptist...