Thursday, April 15, 2010

The School of Prayer

On occasion Joel and I like to browse through used book selections at thrift stores or stop in at tiny used book stores to scour the loaded shelves. There is something relaxing and beautiful about looking at shelves and shelves of books! And, two hours later, even if we leave emptied handed it does not feel like a total waste of time.

The last time we stopped at the Arc Thrift Store, after our Saturday morning breakfast date at Chik-fil-a, we found several treasures we are quickly devouring:

I am reading with Christ in the School of Prayer by Andrew Murray and Joel is reading Tortured for Christ by Richard Wurmbrand. There was a 50% off sale- total spent on these two books- $1.

Andrew Murray must have been an amazing man. He has written convicting and heart-stopping classics (Absolute Surrender and Humility to name just two) that every believer needs to read at least once in a lifetime a year. I know I wish I did!

It seems that the theme of my spiritual growth the last two years has been prayer. My heart longs to know what prayer is, how to pray and at the end of most days I just cry, with the disciples in Luke 11, "Lord, teach me to pray!"

And He is.

Prayer seems easy when it is reduced to petty self-centered petitions that revolve around our wants and materialistic minded "needs." I am harsh, I know, but this reflects most of my prayer life. I was shocked and spiritually traumatized when I met Helen Cox, Caroline Stickley, Eileen Kuhn and Louis Almond. OMF retired missionaries who spent their lives in foreign countries for the sake of the Gospel and who now continue to be poured out for the nations by praying.

If you were able to sit through one prayer meeting with these saints (and they meet twice a day together) you would never pray the same again, I am sure. As they prayed I felt so out of place- like I was eavesdropping on an intimate conversation between Creator and creation!

I want to pray like them, with them and for Him. In prayer I want to throw all my dependence upon the One who knows all and find myself in line with His will.

And now, I'll let Andrew Murray say the rest:
"It is one of the terrible marks of the diseased state of the Christian life in these days (written 1953), that there are so many who rest content without the distinct experience of answer to prayer. They pray daily, they ask many things, and trust that some of them will be heard, but know little of direct definite answer to prayer as the rule of daily life. And it is this the Father wills: He seeks daily intercourse with His children in listening to and granting their petitions. He wills that I should come to Him day by day with distinct requests; He wills day by day to do for me what I ask. It was in His answer to prayer that the saints of old learned to know God as the Living One, and were stirred to praise and love (Psalms 34, 66:29, 116:1). Our Teacher waits to imprint this upon our minds: prayer and its answer, the child asking and the father giving, belong to each other."

with Christ in the School of Prayer
Andrew Murray
Lesson Five- Ask and It Shall Be Given You

No comments: