Home > Prayer > If there is one in heaven who has more joy than another over the conversion of a sinner, it is a minister, one of God’s true ministers

If there is one in heaven who has more joy than another over the conversion of a sinner, it is a minister, one of God’s true ministers

But, if there is one in heaven who has more joy than another over the conversion of a sinner, it is a minister, one of God’s true ministers. Oh, my hearers, ye little think how God’s true ministers do love your souls. Perhaps ye think it is easy work to stand here and preach to you. God knows, if that were all, it were easy work, but when we think that when we speak to you, your salvation or damnation in some measure depends upon what we say-when we reflect that if we are unfaithful watchmen, your blood will God require at our hands-oh, good God, when I reflect that I have preached to thousands in my lifetime, many thousands, and have perhaps said many things I ought not to have said, it startles me, it makes me shake and tremble. Luther said he could face his enemies but could not go up his pulpit stairs without his knees knocking together. Preaching is not child’s play, it is not a thing to be done without labor and anxiety it is solemn work, it is awful work if you view it in its relation to eternity. Ah! how God’s minister prays for you! If you might have listened under the eaves of his chamber window, you would have heard him groaning every Sunday night over his sermons because he had not spoken with more effect, you would have heard him pleading with God, “Who hath believed our report? To whom is the arm of the Lord revealed?” Ah, when he observes you, from his rest in heaven-when he sees you praying, how will he clap his hands and say, “Behold, the child thou hast given me! Behold, he prays.” I am sure when we see one brought to know the Lord, we feel very much like one who has saved a fellow creature from being drowned. There is a poor man in the flood; he is going down, he is sinking, he must be drowned, but I spring in, grasp him firmly, lift him on the shore, and la him on the ground; the physician comes; he looks at him, he puts his hand upon him, and says, “I am afraid he is dead.” We apply all the means in our power, we do what we can to restore life. I feel I have been that man’s deliverer, and oh, how I stoop down and put my ear beside his mouth! At last, I say he breathes! he breathes!” What pleasure there is in that thought! He breathes; there is life still. So when we find a man praying, we shout-he breathes; he is not dead; he is alive; for while a man prays he is not dead in trespasses and sins; but is brought to life, is quickened by the power of the Spirit. “Behold, he prayeth.” This was joyful news in heaven, as well as being noticed by God.

Charles H. Spurgeon- “Paul’s First Prayer,” A Sermon delivered on Sabbath Morning, March 25th, 1855

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