A few years ago, I came across the writings of Andrew Murray. My first introduction to him was through a book he wrote, With Christ in the School of Prayer. Contagiously inspired by the book, I went on to explore most of his books and teachings. I continue to be deeply shaped by his writings.
Andrew Murray was a teacher, pastor, theologian and writer that lived in South Africa. In many ways, Murray was ahead of his time. He arrived at the conclusion that the church on mission, had to be “the chief end of the church.” He was born in 1828, and died in 1917, at the age of 89.
Murray was a father to eight children and a husband to Emma. He grew up in South Africa, where his dad was sent as a missionary for the Dutch Reformed Church. Andrew Murray, and his brother, traveled back to Scotland and achieved his Masters and then went on to study theology.
As a Pastor, he was involved in overseeing churches in several towns; Bloemfontein, Worcester, Cape Town, Wellington and more. He also helped start the South African General Mission. However, what he probably is known for the most was his books and his role in what is called the South African Revival of 1860. In fact, Wikipedia reports that, “He was a champion of the South African Revival of 1860.”
Many people have reported that the Great Awakening in 1860 was as powerful as its precursors that took place in places like America, Ireland, and Wales. In the book, South Africa’s Forgotten Revival, Author Olea Nel says “its story has never been fully told until now.”
Explaining his importance as an Author, the Christian Classics Ethereal Library explains; “Murray is best known today for his devotional writings, which place great emphasis on the need for a rich, personal devotional life. Many of his 240 publications explain in how he saw this devotion and its outworking in the life of the Christian. Several of his books have become devotional classics. Among these are Abide in Christ, Absolute Surrender, With Christ in the School of Prayer, The Spirit of Christ and Waiting on God.”
Through his writings and work, Murray also became an important theologian and discipler within regards to the gifts of the Holy Spirit; especially healing. Consequently, these beliefs and detailed books went on to make him an important leader in both his Dutch Reformed Tradition and the burgeoning Pentecostal movements.
One of the books that he is most known for is With Christ in the School of Prayer. This is the book that introduced me to Andrew Murray.
With Christ in the School of Prayer has become a timeless classic and a best-seller. This book looks at the various prayer instructions and prayers of Jesus found throughout the New Testament of the Bible. Murray uncovers them like a lost art and he engages them with the anticipation of a child on Christmas Eve.
The level of intimacy that Jesus had with the Father, is shown deeply in his prayer life. Andrew Murray knows Jesus gave some serious Kingdom insight on prayer, to the disciples who saw this and cried out to be taught to pray like that. Murray says it like this, “The disciples had been with CHRIST, and seen Him pray. They had learned to understand something of the connection between his wondrous life in public, and His secret life of prayer.”
There are so many great insights and quotes in With Christ in the School of Prayer. Below are 7 quotes we can’t ignore from Andrew Murray on the Lord’s Prayer as found in With Christ in the School of Prayer.
- `Our Father which art in heaven!’ To appreciate this word of adoration aright, I must remember that none of the saints had in Scripture ever ventured to address God as their Father. The invocation places us at once in the centre of the wonderful revelation the Son came to make of His Father as our Father too. It comprehends the mystery of redemption-Christ delivering us from the curse that we might become the children of God. The mystery of regeneration-the Spirit in the new birth giving us the new life. And the mystery of faith-ere yet the redemption is accomplished or understood the word is given on the lips of the disciples to prepare them for the blessed experience still to come. The words are the key to the whole prayer, to all prayer. It takes time, it takes life to study them; it will take eternity to understand them fully. The knowledge of God’s Father-love is the first and simplest, but also the last and highest lesson in the school of prayer. It is in the personal relation to the living God, and the personal conscious fellowship of love with Himself, that prayer begins. It is in the knowledge of God’s Fatherliness, revealed by the Holy Spirit, that the power of prayer will be found to root and grow. In the infinite tenderness and pity and patience of the infinite Father, in His loving readiness to hear and to help, the life of prayer has its joy. O let us take time, until the Spirit has made these words to us spirit and truth, filling heart and life: Our Father which art in heaven.’ Then we are indeed within the veil, in the secret place of power where prayer always prevails.
- `Hallowed be Thy name.’ There is something here that strikes us at once. While we ordinarily first bring our own needs to God in prayer, and then think of what belongs to God and His interests, the Master reverses the order. First, Thy name, Thy kingdom, Thy will; then, give us, forgive us, lead us, deliver us. The lesson is of more importance than we think. In true worship the Father must be first,must be all. The sooner I learn to forget myself in the desire cheap seroquel that HE may be glorified, the richer will the blessing be that prayer will bring to myself. No one ever loses by what he sacrifices for the Father. This must influence all our prayer. There are two sorts of prayer: personal and intercessory. The latter ordinarily occupies the lesser part of our time and energy. This may not be. Christ has opened the school of prayer specially to train intercessors for the great work of bringing down, by their faith and prayer, the blessings of His work and love on the world around. There can be no deep growth in prayer unless this be made our aim. The little child may ask of the father only what it needs for itself; and yet it soon learns to say, give some for sister too. But the grownup son, who only lives for the father’s interest and takes charge of the father’s business, asks more largely, and gets all that is asked. And Jesus would train us to the blessed life of consecration and service, in which our interests are all subordinate to the Name, and the Kingdom, and the Will of the Father. O let us live for this and let, on each act of adoration, Our Father! there follow in the same breath, Thy Name, Thy Kingdom, Thy Will;-for this we look up and long.
- ‘Thy kingdom come.’ The Father is a King and has a kingdom. The son and heir of a king has no higher ambition than the glory of his father’s kingdom. In time of war or danger this becomes his passion; he can think of nothing else. The children of the Father are here in the enemy’s territory, where the kingdom, which is in heaven, is not yet fully manifested. What more natural than that, when they learn to hallow the Father-name, they should long and cry with deep enthusiasm: ‘Thy kingdom come. The coming of the kingdom is the one great event on which the revelation of the Father’s glory, the blessedness of His children, the salvation of the world depends. On our prayers too the coming of the kingdom waits. Shall we not join in the deep longing cry of the redeemed: ‘Thy kingdom come’? Let us learn it in the school of Jesus.
- ‘Thy will be done, as in heaven, so on earth.’ This petition is too frequently applied alone to the suffering of the will of God. In heaven God’s will is done, and the Master teaches the child to ask that the will may be done on earth just as in heaven: in the spirit of adoring submission and ready obedience. Because the will of God is the glory of heaven the doing of it is the blessedness of heaven. As the will is done,- the kingdom of heaven comes into the heart. And whereever faith has accepted the Father’s love, obedience accepts the Father’s will. The surrender to, and the prayer for a life of heaven-like obedience, is the spirit of childlike prayer.
- `Give us this day our daily bread!’ When first the child has yielded himself to the Father in the care for His Name, His Kingdom, and His Will, he has full liberty to ask for his daily bread. A master cares for the food of his servant, a general of his soldiers, a father of his child. And will not the Father in heaven care for the child who has in prayer given himself up to His interests? We may indeed in full confidence say: Father, I live for Thy honour and Thy work; I know Thou carest for me. Consecration to God and His will gives wonderful liberty in prayer for temporal things: the whole earthly life is given to the Father’s loving care.
- `And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.’ As bread is the first need of the body, so forgiveness for the soul, And the provision for the one is as sure as for the other. We are children, but sinners too; our right of access to the Father’s presence we owe to the precious blood and the forgiveness it has won for us. Let us beware of the prayer for forgiveness becoming a formality: only what is really confessed is really forgiven. Let us in faith accept the forgiveness as promised: as a spiritual reality, an actual transaction between God and us, it is the entrance into all the Father’s love and all the privileges of children. Such forgiveness, as a living experience, is impossible without a forgiving spirit to others: as forgiven expresses the heavenward, so forgiving the earthward, relation of God’s child. In each prayer to the Father I must be able to say that I know of no one whom I do not heartily love.
- `And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.’ Our daily bread, the pardon of our sins, and then our being kept from all sin and the power of the evil one, in these three petitions all our personal need is comprehended. The prayer for bread and pardon must be accompanied by the surrender to live in all things in holy obedience to the Father’s will, and the believing prayer in everything to be kept by the power of the indwelling Spirit from the power of the evil one.
Andrew Murray and his writings have taught me much about prayer and intimacy with the Father. He has shaped a lot of my experiences with the presence of God. I hope you find these thoughts helpful to you.
Which one of these 7 thoughts was your favorite?
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We seek God’s gifts: God wants to give us HIMSELF first. We think of prayer as the power to draw down good gifts from heaven; Jesus as the means to draw ourselves up to God.