The Cross, Our Glory
By Charles Sturgeon


Dear friends, when we are tempted and desire to overcome, the best weapon is prayer. When you cannot use the sword and the shield, take to yourself the famous weapon of all-prayer. That is what your Savior did. Let us notice His prayer.


He withdrew even from His three best friends about a stone’s cast. Believer, especially in temptation, be much in solitary prayer. As private prayer is the key to open heaven, so is it the key to shut the gates of hell. As it is a shield to prevent, so is it the sword with which to fight against temptation. Family prayer, social prayer, prayer in the church will not suffice. These are very precious, but the best beaten spice will smoke in your censer in your private devotions, where no ear hears but God’s. Betake yourselves to sol­itude if you would overcome.


Luke says he knelt, but another evangelist says he fell on his face. What! Does the King fall on His face? Where, then, must be your place, you humble servant of the great Master? Doth the Prince fall flat to the ground? Where, then, will you lie? What dust and ashes shall cover your head? What sackcloth shall gird your loins? Humility gives us a good foothold in prayer. There is no hope of any real prevalence with God, who casts down the proud, unless we abase ourselves that He may exalt us in due time. (See 1 Peter 5:6.)


Matthew describes Him as saying, “O My Father” (Matthew 26:39); Mark puts it, “Abba, Father” (Mark 14:36). You will find this always a stronghold in the day of trial—to plead your adop­tion. Thus that prayer in which it is written, “Lead us not into temp­tation, but deliver us from evil” (Matthew 6:13) begins with “Our Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 6:9). Plead as a child. You have no rights as a subject; you have forfeited them by your treason, but nothing can forfeit a child’s right to a father’s protection. Be not then ashamed to say, “My Father, hear my cry.”


“Nevertheless not as I will, but as You will” (Matthew 26:39). Yield, and God yields. Let it be as God wills, and God will will it that it shall be for the best. Be perfectly content to leave the result of your prayer in the hands of Him who knows when to give, and how to give, and what to give, and what to withhold. So pleading, earnestly, importunately, yet mingling with it humility and resig­nation, you shall yet prevail.

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