The Sincerity of Prayer

The other night, I told you of a dear brother who said, when I exhorted my hearers to select somebody to pray for, that he had prayed for one person for twenty years, and that he is not converted yet. So I said to him, “Have you spoken to your friend personally about his soul? Have you made it your business to go down to his house, and tell him that you are anxious about him?” “No,” he replied, “I cannot say that I have done so.” “Well, then,” I asked, “do you expect God to hear prayers of that kind? Suppose I were to pray that it might be a good harvest over in that field, and yet, for twenty years, I did not sow any corn there; the probability is that, when I did sow some, I should get my prayers answered, and gather in the harvest.” If we pray for anything, God expects us to use the proper means of obtaining it; and if we neglect the means, we have no right to expect Him to believe in the sincerity of our prayer. If a father and mother pray for their children, but never pray with them, or speak to them personally about the welfare of their souls, they must not wonder if they are not brought to Christ.

-Charles Spurgeon

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