From Spurgeon's sermon, "True Prayer--True Power!"
Cold prayers ask for a denial.
The lips may move, yet the heart remain silent.
When we ask the Lord coolly, and not fervently,
we do as it were, stop his hand, and restrain him from
giving us the very blessing we pretend that we are seeking.
Oh, those cold-hearted prayers that die upon the lips--
those frozen supplications, how can they move God's heart?
They do not come from our own souls, they do not well up
from the deep secret springs of our inmost heart, and
therefore they cannot rise up to him who only hears the cry
of the soul, before whom hypocrisy can weave no veil,
or formality practice any disguise.
We must be earnest, otherwise we have no right
to hope that the Lord will hear our prayer.
Shall I come into your presence, O my God,
and mock you with cold-hearted words?
Do the angels veil their faces before you, and shall I be
content to prattle through a form, with no soul and no heart?
We should speak to God from our own hearts,
and talk to him as a child talks to his father.
God always has an open ear and a ready hand,
if you have an open and ready heart.
Take your groanings and your sighs to God
and he will answer you.
"Our prayers are God's decrees in another shape."