Every month I receive a sermon of C. H. Spurgeon in the post through Bathroad Baptist Church's ministry (Spurgeon Ministries). If you haven't heard of this impacting ministry I encourage you to jump on the bandwagon and support it. This past week I spent some of my morning reading time going through February's sermon, entitled "Preparing for Revival". It's a delightful and straightforward message expounded from Amos 3:3 on walking with God, in agreement with God, whilst casting off all that offends God.
From this sermon I am compelled to share 2 points pertaining to the church as it desires to see God's work of revival within the people Christ died for. The first point he stresses is conducive to the member's prayer life corporately and in private:
Yet again, dear friends, are we agreed this day as to our utter helplessness in this work? I caught a good sentence the other day. Speaking with a Wesleyan minister, I said to him, "Your denomination during the past year did not increase: you have usually had a large increase to your numbers. You were never so rich as now; your ministers were never so well educated; you never had such good chapels as now, and yet you never had so little success. What are you doing - knowing this to be the fact, what are you doing? How are the minds of your brethrren exercised with regard to this?" He comforted me much by the reply. He said, "It has driven us to our knees: we thank God that we know our state and are not content with it. We have had a day of humiliation, and I hope," he said, "some of us have gone low enough to be blessed." I do fear me that some of us never do go low enough to be blessed; and when you and I pray to God with pride in us, with self-exaltation, with a confidence in our own zeal, or even in the prevalence of our own prayers of themselves, we have not come low enough to be blessed. A humble church will be a blessed church; a church that is willing to confess its own errors and failures, and to lie at the foot of Christ's cross, is in a position to be favoured of the Lord. I hope we are agreed, then, with God, as to our utter unworthiness and helplessness, so that we look to him alone.