Here are eight helpful things to remember about prayer by Ichabod Spencer. I am posting them here in a shorter out of context format. Click here to read the entire article.

  • “The first thing I would have you remember is this, that your God commands you to pray. This is your duty. Nothing can excuse you from it. Wicked heart as you may have, God commands you to pray.”
  • “The second thing is, that God connects his promises with these commands. You have no right to separate them. The promise and the command stand together.”
  • “The third thing is, that when you do thus separate them, saying the promises are not for such wicked hearts as yours, and therefore refuse to pray, you are not taking God’s way, but your own. You are teaching him, instead of suffering him to teach you. Your duty is to take his way. His thoughts are not your thoughts. (Isaiah 55:8)”
  • “The fourth thing, therefore, is – you are never to despair. Despair never yet made a human being any better; it has made many a devil worse. Hope in God, by believing what he says. You need not have any hope in yourself; but you may have hope in God, and you may pray in hope. Never despair.”
  • “The fifth thing is, that your wicked heart, instead of being a reason why you should not pray, is the very reason why you should pray most earnestly. It is the strongest of all reasons. Pray just because you have a wicked heart. Such a heart needs God’s help.
  • “The sixth thing is, that a great many persons have thought, and felt, and talked about prayer just as you do; and afterwards have found out that they were mistaken, have prayed, and have become true and happy Christians.” “Remember this: others just like you have found out their error. You may find out yours.”
  • “The seventh thing is, [that thinking your heart is too wicked to pray]… is a temptation of the devil, it is a falsehood, a deception, a lie designed to keep you in sin and misery. Not that you think your heart worse than it is; but that you do not think God so gracious and merciful as he is, to hear the prayers of even such a heart. ‘Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.’ (James 4:7)”
  • “The eighth thing is, that this idea of yours, about not praying with such a [wicked] heart, is just an idea of self-righteousness. You are ‘going about to establish a righteousness of your own, and have not submitted yourself to the righteousness of God. Christ is the end of the law for righteousness.’ (Romans10:3-4) You wish to pray with such a good heart, that God will hear you on that account. This is pride, wicked, foolish pride, a spirit of self-righteousness, self-justification, and self-reliance. It is this which keeps you from prayer.”
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