Want to learn more about building a life of prayer? Me too. Meet me here on Wednesdays for an ongoing series exploring prayer. I'm honored to learn alongside you.
It's been with me for the last 20 years. With every household move, I packed it neatly in a box and dutifully unpacked it when we arrived, slipping its worn paperback spine between MacDonald and Nouwen on the shelves where it lived. I don’t even remember when Grandma gave it to me, but if I flip back the cover her name is stenciled neatly on the page right above the introductory line that says: “You want to pray. You sense the need of prayer…” I never made it much further than that before I quietly closed the book and slid it back into its resting place.
When I finally did open it this last summer, I found that my grandma had been there before me, underlining and highlighting, making notes in the margin. Reading it has been a glimpse into the formation of a godly woman. I’m amazed that this treasure sat on my shelves for so long, unnoticed. Every book has its time, I guess, and this one waited for me a long, long while.
I’d like to invite you to share it with me: With Christ in the School of Prayer, by Dr. Andrew Murray. It's an aptly named book, because I am a student in this business of praying. I hope you will join me in learning.
Dr. Murray was a beloved South African Protestant preacher who lived in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s. He wrote over 200 books, mainly focused on the devotional life. His writing is powerful and full of the joyful life of Christ.
“But when we learn to regard [prayer] as the highest part of the work entrusted to us, the root and strength of all other work, we shall see that there is nothing that we so need to study and practice as the art of praying aright…the Father waits to hear every prayer of faith, to give us whatsoever we will, and whatsoever we ask in Jesus' name. We have become so accustomed to limit the wonderful love and the large promises of God, that we cannot read the simplest and clearest statements of our Lord without the qualifying clauses by which we guard and expound them. If there is one thing I think the church needs to learn, it is that God means prayer to have an answer...” Andrew Murray
The entire text of With Christ in the School of Prayer can be found online here. It is broken down into 31 short, yet profound lessons. Next week I will begin sharing my reflections on Chapter One: Lord, Teach Us to Pray or The Only Teacher.
Thank You for your patient love that waits for us just as the gardener waits for the bud and then the bloom and finally the fruit. Thank You for guiding and leading when we did not know we were wandering. Thank You for providing before we ever knew to need.
Lead us now as we come to learn. We want to pray. We sense the need of prayer. Make our hearts tender before You, ready to be changed and conformed to the image of Your Son. Make our minds sharp to understand Your words. Make our hearts willing to obey and do what You ask us to do. You have stirred in us Your own desire, may we respond with eagerness and joy and may we become fervent, effectual pray-ers who do Your will.
Thank You Lord for leading us and changing us.
In Your name Jesus,