Prayer Is the Pulse of the Spiritual Life
Andrew Murray believed that the greatest roadblock to spiritual growth is rooted in prayerlessness. In his familiar devotional style, he clearly outlines the way to overcome this sin of omission. He then offers inspiring and practical guidelines for becoming a prayer warrior, including examples from the prayer lives of the apostle Paul, George Muller, and Hudson Taylor.
Twenty-first century believers will find that the steps to developing a vital spiritual life through prayer are as applicable today as when they were written nearly a century ago. The text has been newly edited for today's reader.
There are no customer reviews available at this time. Would you like to write a review?
Baker Publishing Group
October 01, 2002
Number of Print Pages*
Adobe DRM EPUB
* Number of eBook pages may differ. Click here for more information.
Excerpt from Living a Prayerful Life by Andrew Murray
Suggestions for Private Prayer
A brother who had earnestly confessed his neglect of prayer but who was later able to declare that his eyes had been opened to see that the Lord supplies grace for all that He requires of us, asked if some suggestions could be given for spending the most profitable time in private prayer. Since the question came after a conference, and there was no opportunity then to give him a sufficient answer, I will share the following now in the hope that it will be of help to some:
1. As you enter a time of private prayer, let your first focus be to give thanks to God for the unspeakable love that invites you to come to Him and to converse freely with Him. If your heart is cold and dead, remember that your faith is not a matter of feeling but first involves the will. Raise your heart to God and thank Him for the assurance you have that He looks down on you and will bless you. Through such an act of faith you honor God and draw your soul away from being occupied with itself. Think also of the glorious grace of the Lord Jesus, who is willing to teach you to pray and to give you the disposition to do so. Think too of the Holy Spirit, who was given to enable you to cry, "Abba, Father" in your heart and to help your faltering prayer. Five minutes spent in this way will strengthen your faith. Once more I say: Begin with an act of thanksgiving, and praise God for your place of prayer and the promise of blessing there.
2. You must prepare yourself for prayer by Bible study. The first reason why the quiet time is not attractive to most is that people do not know how to pray. Their storehouse of words is soon exhausted, and they do not know what else to say, because they forget that prayer is not a soliloquy, where everything comes from one side; it is a dialogue, where God;s child listens to what the Father says, replies to it, and then makes his requests known.
Read a few verses from the Bible. Do not concern yourself with the difficulties contained in them. You can consider these later; but take what you do understand, apply it to yourself, and ask the Father to make His Word light and power in your heart. In this way you will have material enough for prayer from the Word; you will also have the liberty to ask for things you need. Keep on in this way, and the prayer room will become at length not a place where you sigh and struggle, but one of living fellowship with the Father in heaven. Prayerful study of the Bible is indispensable for powerful prayer.
3. When you have thus received the Word into your heart, turn to serious prayer. But do not attempt it hastily or thoughtlessly, as though you knew well enough how to pray on your own. Prayer in our own strength brings no blessing. Take time to present yourself reverently and in quietness before God. Remember His greatness and holiness and love. Think over what you want to ask of Him. Do not be satisfied with going over the same things every day. No child goes on saying the same thing day after day to his earthly father.
What you talk about with the Father is influenced by the needs of the day. Let your prayer be something definite, arising either out of the Word that you have read or out of the real spiritual needs that you long to have satisfied. Let your prayer be so definite that you can say as you go out, "I know what I have asked of my Father, and I expect an answer." It is a good idea to sometimes take a piece of paper and write down what you will pray for.
4. What has been said is in reference to your own needs. But you know that we are encouraged to pray for the needs of others and how we may help them. One of the main reasons why daily prayer does not bring more joy and blessing is that it is basically selfish. Selfishness is the death of prayer.
Remember your family; your church with its many interests and endeavors; your own neighborhood; your friends. Let your heart be enlarged and take up the interests of missions and of the church throughout the world. Become an intercessor, and you will experience for the first time the blessedness of being used of God to bless others through prayer. You will begin to feel that there is something worth living for as you see that you have something to say to God. You will find that He will do things in answer to your prayers that otherwise would not have been done.
A child can ask his father for his basic needs. A full-grown son converses with him about his business and family responsibilities. A weak child of God prays only for himself; a full-grown man in Christ understands how to consult with God over what must take place in the kingdom. Let your prayer list bear the names of those for whom you pray--your minister, other ministers in the community, and missionary affairs with which you are familiar. Thus the inner room will become a wonder of God's goodness and a fountain of great joy. It can become the most blessed place on earth. It may be hard to believe, but it is the simple truth that God will make it a Bethel, where His angels ascend and descend, and where you will cry out, "The Lord shall be my God!" He will make it a Peniel, where you will see the face of God, as a prince of God, as one who wrestled with the angel and overcame him.
5. Do not forget the close bond between the inner room and the outside world. The attitude of the inner prayer room must remain with us all day. The object of secret prayer is to unite us to God that we may know His abiding presence with us. Sin, thoughtlessness, yielding to the flesh or the world, makes us unfit for prayer and casts a cloud over our soul. If you have stumbled or fallen, return to your secret place; let your first task be to invoke the blood of Jesus and to claim its cleansing power. Do not rest until you have fully confessed, repented of, and put away your sin. Let the precious blood of Jesus give you a fresh freedom of approach to God. Remember that the roots of your life in the inner room reach far out through body and soul so as to manifest themselves in all of life. Let "the obedience of faith," in which you pray in secret, rule you constantly. The inner room is intended to bind man to God, to supply him with power from God, and to enable him to live for God alone. Thank God for that place and for the blessed life that He will enable you there to experience and nourish.