How to understand Scripture?
Spurgeon, "The Golden Key of Prayer"
John saw a book in the right hand of him that
sat on the throne -- a book sealed with seven
seals which none was found worthy to open or
to look thereon. What did John do? The book
was by-and-by opened by the Lion of the Tribe
of Judah, who had prevailed to open the book;
but it is written first before the book was opened,
"I wept much." Yes, and the tears of John which
were his liquid prayers, were, as far as he was
concerned, the sacred keys by which the folded
book was opened.
Brethren in the ministry, you who are teachers in
the Sunday school, and all of you who are learners
in the college of Christ Jesus, I beg you remember
that prayer is your best means of study!
like Daniel you shall understand the dream, and the
interpretation thereof, when you have sought unto
God; and like John you shall see the seven seals of
precious truth unloosed, after that you have wept much.
"Yes, if you cry after knowledge, and lift up the voice
for understanding; if you do you seek her as silver,
and search for her as for hid treasures; then shall you
understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge
Stones are not broken, except by an earnest use of the
hammer; and the stone breaker usually goes down on
his knees. Use the hammer of diligence, and let the
knee of prayer be exercised, too, and there is not a
stony doctrine in Scripture which is useful for you
to understand, which will not fly into shivers under
the exercise of prayer and faith.
To have prayed well is to have studied well.
You may force your way through anything
with the leverage of prayer.
Thoughts and reasoning may be like the steel wedges
which may open a way into truth; but prayer is the lever
which forces open the iron chest of sacred mystery,
that we may get the treasure that is hidden therein for
those who can force their way to reach it.
Take care that you work with the mighty tool
of prayer, and nothing can stand against you.