Prefatory Note

Only A Prayer Meeting by C. H. Spurgeon

Mr. Spurgeon long ago had the intention of collecting into a volume a selection from the Addresses delivered by him at the Metropolitan Tabernacle and other Prayer-meetings, but the opportunity of carrying out that idea never came to him. It is hoped that the publication of the forty Addresses here gathered together will be helpful to others who have the responsibility of conducting Prayer-meetings, as well as interesting to readers in general because of the variety of subjects discussed in them.

In his first volume of “Lectures to my Students,” when speaking upon “The Faculty of Impromptu Speech” MR. SPURGEON said:- “Ever since I have been in London, in order to get into the habit of speaking extemporaneously, I have never studied or prepared anything for the Monday evening Prayer-meeting. I have all along selected that occasion as the opportunity for offhand exhortation; but you will observe that I do not, at such times, select difficult expository topics, or abstruse themes, but restrict myself to simple homely talk about the elements of our faith. When standing up, on such occasions, one’s mind makes a review, and enquires, ‘What subject has already taken up my thought during the day? What have I met with in my reading during the past week? What is most laid upon my heart at this hour? What is suggested by the hymns or the prayers?’”

One of the Addresses in this volume – the exposition of Psalm Ixxxi. 16 – was delivered at a Prayer-meeting in New Park Street Chapel in 1857; but most of them were given in the Metropolitan Tabernacle, at those wonderful Monday-evening gatherings, concerning which MR. SPURGEON once wrote in “The Sword and the Trowel” :-  “A Wesleyan minister lately said that he was never more surprised in his life than when he dropped into the Tabernacle, and found the ground-floor and part of the gallery filled at a Prayer-meeting. He believed that such a thing was almost without a parallel in London, and that it accounted for the success of the ministry. We concur in his impartial judgment. Will not all the churches try the power of prayer?”

The second chapter in this book is the only one that was not delivered as an address; but it so well sets forth Mr. Spurgeon’s opinions of what Prayer-meetings should be, that it is included in order to make the volume as complete as possible. Other of Mr.Spurgeon’s Prayer-meeting addresses have been published in his volumes entitled The Bible and the Newspaper, Be of Good Cheer, Till He come, and The Soul-Winner.

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