Thursday, August 16, 2012

They Said It: Andrew Murray on Christ as our Teacher in the school of Prayer

Perhaps you have been following my recent posts on prayer and you agree that 1) we ought to pray as a spiritual discipline and 2) we can pray boldly because Jesus bought that right with His blood.

But you now have the question: How do I pray?

I recently returned to reading a classic Christian book by Andrew Murray entitled With Christ in the School of Prayer.  In the first chapter, he begins by saying that we need to ask Jesus like His disciples did: "Lord, teach us to pray."

From the book, here is some encouragement that if we ask, Christ will be faithful to teach us:

"Lord, teach us to pray." Yes, we feel the need now of being taught to pray. At first there is no work that appears so simple; later on, none that is more difficult. And the confession is forced from us: We do not know how to pray as we should. It is true we have God's Word with its clear and sure promises, but sin has so darkened our mind that we don't always know how to apply the Word. In spiritual matters we do not always seek the most important things. In temporal matters we are still less able to use the wonderful liberty our Father has given us to ask for what we need. 
Even when we know what to ask for, so much is still needed to make prayer acceptable. It must be to the glory of God, in full surrender to His will, in full assurance of faith, in the Name of Jesus, and with a perseverance that, if need be, refuses to be denied. All this must be learned. It can only be learned in the school of much prayer, for practice makes perfect. 
Amid the painful consciousness of ignorance and unworthiness, in the struggle between believing and doubting, the heavenly art of effective prayer is learned. There is One--the Beginner and Finisher of faith and prayer--Who watches over our praying and sees to it that in all who trust Him for it, education in the school of prayer is carried on to perfection. Let the deep undertone of all our prayer be the teachableness that comes from faith in Him as a perfect Teacher, and we can be sure that we will be taught. We will learn to pray in power. Yes, we can depend on His teaching us to pray.

[From With Christ in the School of Prayer by Andrew Murray, Whitaker House, public domain]

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