C. H. Spurgeon
Sermon Notes From Charles Spurgeon
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34. Those Who Desire.

O Lord, I beseech thee, let now thine ear be attentive to the prayer of thy servant, and to the prayer of thy servants, who desire to fear thy name. - Nehemiah 1:11.

Nehemiah believed that there were others praying besides himself. He was not so gloomy, so self-opinionated, so uncharitable as to think that he alone loved the house of the Lord, and prayed for it. He believed that the Lord had many praying servants besides himself. In this he was more hopeful than Elijah (1 Kings 19:10, 18).

Nehemiah valued the prayers of his fellow-servants, and felt supported in his own supplications by the fact that he was one of a crowd of pleaders.

Even those of the feebler sort, who could get no further than desiring to fear God, were prized by this holy man when they lifted up their prayers. The littles of supplication, when multiplied by the number of those who present them, help to turn the scale. Who are the persons that make up this class: "Who desire to fear thy name"? We will try to find them out.


l. True godliness is always a matter of desire.

· Not of custom, fashion, habit, excitement, passion, or chance.

· Nor of unwilling dread, or compulsion, or bribery.

· Nor of boasted full attainment and conceited self-satisfaction.

2. Every part of it is a matter of desire.

· Repentance, faith, love, etc. None of these can be found in a man unless he desires to have them.

· Prayer, praise, service, alms, and all good deeds, are matters of the heart's desire. Oh, to abound in them!

· Progress and maturity of grace are never so far attained as to content us. They are still matters of desire.

· So, too, usefulness among our fellows, the prevalence of truth, the prosperity of the church, and the spread of Christ's kingdom ever remain things of desire.

· The same maybe said of heaven, of resurrection, and of the future glories of Christ's reign on earth.

· Good men are like Daniel, men of desires (Dan. 9:23, margin). Desire is the life-blood of piety, the egg of holiness, the dawn of grace, the promise of perfection.

3. The desire is accepted where there can be no more. In giving, in working, in self-dedication, the Lord takes the will for the deed where the power to perform is absent. To him the essence of even the most self-sacrificing action is found, not in the suffering involved, but in a desire for God's glory.

4. But without even the desire, man is in a condition of spiritual death, and all that he does is as dead as himself.


Not the merely temporary wishers and resolvers, for these are only blossoms, and the bulk of blossoms never turn to fruit; of such we may say with Solomon,"The soul of the sluggard desireth, and hath nothing" (Prov. 13:4). But—

1. Those who earnestly and heartily long to be right with God, though afraid to think themselves saved. These are always desiring.

2. Those who do believe, but fear lest there should be presumption in their calling themselves God's people. Their faith shows itself far more in desire than in a sense of having obtained the object of their search.

3. Those who know that they fear God, but desire to fear him more. Some of the best of men are of this order.

4. Those who wish to serve the Lord with greater freedom, constancy, delight, and power. What would they not do if they could but obtain their heart's desire?

5. Those who delight in the ways of God, and long to abide in them all their days. No man perseveres in holiness unless he desires to do so. Tender desires breed watchful walking, and, by God's Spirit, lead to consistent living.

· Now all these people can pray acceptably: indeed, they are always praying, for desires are true prayers.

· We need the prayers of all these people, as well as of advanced saints. The rank and file are the main part of the army. If none but eminent believers prayed, our treasury of supplication would be scantily furnished.

· We should gratefully associate such beginners with us in our cries for prosperity to the cause of God: their struggling petitions will excite us all to pray better, and the exercise will increase their own prayer-power.

· Lastly, LET US PRAY NOW — all of us, great and small. In the Holy Ghost let us pray, and thereby support our ministers, missionaries, and other workers, who, like Nehemiah, lead the way in holy service.

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