Dear fellow disciple-maker,
To have a life that prays is a goal in every believer's heart. Andrew Murray (1828 – 1917), was a South African writer, teacher and Christian pastor. He authored over 240 books including The Ministry of Intercession, in 1877.
The following paragraphs are excerpts from this book. I found Murray's spiritual insights very inspiring and challenging. I pray that his words will have the same impact on you.
Prayer is the Means
John 13-17 is our Lord's farewell address to His disciples. What is striking is that His emphasis in these chapters is much more about their praying than their preaching. The words: ask, anything, whatever and in my name, are repeated six times. Prayer is God's foundational appointed means for advancing the gospel. In His final discourse Jesus makes this abundantly clear.
Jesus promised His disciples that on the Day of Pentecost they would fully understand. When the Holy Spirit was poured out at Pentecost, it was in answer to prayer. Jesus had taught them that His Heavenly Father would give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him (Luke 11:13). For all ages, at the birth of the Church, a universal and unchangeable principle is laid down: the power of the Spirit is received by believing, continued prayer.
In the middle of all of these great promises is a great condition. What sort of life can pray like this? The answer is found in John 15:1-6. Jesus is the Living Vine and we are His branches. A branch is simply a growth of the vine; it has no life in itself. It is produced by the vine and appointed to bear its fruit. It has only one reason for existence. It is there so that through the vine, it may bear and ripen its precious fruit. Whoever is willing to be a branch, and nothing but a branch, will place himself absolutely at the disposal of Jesus, the Vine of God, to bear His fruit and live only for Him.
This person will receive the freedom to claim Christ's whatever in all its fullness, and the wisdom and humility to use it right. He will live and pray, claiming the Father's promises as Christ did, only for God's glory and the salvation of men. He will use his boldness in prayer only for power in intercession and getting men blessed. It is the life abiding wholly in Christ that can pray the effective prayer in the Name of Christ.
The Need of the Hour
If our failures teach us to turn afresh to Him and to find in Him the grace He gives to pray as we should, this humiliation may become our greatest blessing. Christ is our life. Regarding prayer, we must study Him in love and accept Him in faith as our example, teacher and intercessor. We must go back to God's Word to study what place God means prayer to have in the life of His child and His church. Let us all unite in praying to God that He would visit our souls and fit us for that work of intercession, which is at this moment the greatest need of the Church and the world.
Author:Paul Schlieker www.bible-study-lesson-plans.com
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