Charles Spurgeon, riffing on Job 23:4, argues that we are not to be “filling the mouth with words nor good phrases, nor pretty expressions,” but rather filling our mouth with arguments, which are “the knocks of the rapper by which the gate is opened.”
Why are arguments to be used at all? is the first enquiry; the reply being,
- not because God is slow to give,
- not because we can change the divine purpose,
- not because God needeth to be informed of any circumstance with regard to ourselves or of anything in connection with the mercy asked:
the arguments to be used are for our own benefit, not for his.
He requires for us to plead with him, and to bring forth our strong reasons, as Isaiah saith, because this will show that we feel the value of the mercy.
When a man searches for arguments for a thing it is because he attaches importance to that which he is seeking.
Again, our use of arguments teaches us the ground upon which we obtain the blessing.
If a man should come with the argument of his own merit, he would never succeed; the successful argument is always founded upon grace, and hence the soul so pleading is made to understand intensely that it is by grace and by grace alone that a sinner obtaineth anything of the Lord.
Besides, the use of arguments is intended to stir up our fervency. The man who uses one argument with God will get more force in using the next, and will use the next with still greater power, and the next with more force still.
The best prayers I have ever heard in our prayer meetings have been those which have been fullest of argument.
Sometimes my soul has been fairly melted down where I have listened to the brethren who have come before God feeling the mercy to be really needed, and that they must have it, for they first pleaded with God to give it for this reason, and then for a second, and then for a third and then for a fourth and a fifth until they have awakened the fervency of the entire assembly.