Frequency in Prayer

At our men’s fellowship last Sunday evening, we approached the throne of our risen Lord in prayer.  I am grateful to the Lord and to my brothers in Christ that we shared that time together.  The following is from Spurgeon’s sermon on Psalm 116.1, and I hope it stirs us on to seek these times more and more – as individuals and corporately in the Body of Christ.


If a beggar comes to your house, and you give him alms, you will be greatly annoyed if within a month he shall come again; and if you then discover that he has made it a rule to wait upon you monthly for a contribution, you will say to him, “I gave you something once, but I did not mean to establish it as a rule.” Suppose, however, that the beggar should be so impudent and impertinent that he should say, “But I intend sir to wait upon you every morning and every evening:” then you would say, “I intend to keep my gate locked that you shall not trouble me.” And suppose he should then look you in the face and add still more, “Sir, I intend waiting upon you every hour, nor can I promise that I won’t come to you sixty times in an hour; but I just vow and declare that as often as I want anything so often will I come to you: if I only have a wish I will come and tell it to you; the least thing and the greatest thing shall drive me to you; I will always be at the post of your door.” You would soon be tired of such importunity as that, and wish the beggar anywhere, rather than that he should come and tease you so.

Yet recollect, this is just what you have done to God, and he has never complained of you for doing it; but rather he has complained of you the other way. He has said, “Thou hast not called upon me, O Jacob.” He has never murmured at the frequency of your prayers, but has complained that you have not come to him enough. Every morning when you have risen your cry has gone up to him; again with the family you have cried to the God of Jacob; at eventide you have gathered together and have prayed to him, and whenever ye have a trial, or a want, or a doubt, or a fear, ye have, if ye have done rightly, sped away swiftly to his throne and told him all.

Speak now, saint, has he once said to you “Get you gone, thou weariest me?” Has he ever said “Mine ear is heavy that it cannot hear, my arm is shortened that I cannot save?” Has he said, “Away with thee, I want not thus to be perpetually hearing thee? What is thy harsh grating voice, that I should always give mine ear to it? Am I not hearkening to the songs of angels, to the shouts of cherubim? Away with thee, tease me not. At certain seasons thou mayest come, on the Sabbath-day thou mayest pray, but I want not to hear thee in the week?”

No, no, he has sweetly embraced us every time, he has always bowed the heaven and come down to listen to our feeble cries; he has never denied a promise, never broken his word, even when we have pleaded a thousand times a day. Oh I will love the name of such a patient God as this, who bears with my prayers though they be as a cloud of hornets in the air.

1 Comment

  1. David Arbogast

    Wed 25th Feb 2009 at 2:46 pm

    Spurgeon used the word “importunity”, which is a word sorely needed in our day as one that characterizes the sort of faithful praying that God is pleased with.

    As Spurgeon notes, if we were approached by an “importune” beggar, such a beggar would quickly wear us out. Our resources and capacity to always comply cheerfully with the requests of the importunate are limited. But, God is not a man; he has limitless resources and power, and therefore he allows, desires, even commands us to be importune beggars (Luke 11:5-13; 18:1-7).

    However, immportune prayer without genuine faith is mere vain repetition (Matt 6:7); such babbling is of no use. Instead of praying without faith (in unbelief), let us use our faith to drive us toward importune prayer. In other words, if we really believe (have faith) that God will hear us, that same faith should lead us to pray with importunity until we receive what we seek.

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