Who was Andrew Murray?
Murray pastored churches in Bloemfontein, Worcester, Cape Town and Wellington, all in South Africa. He was a champion of the South African Revival of 1860. He authored 240 Books! He is the author of one of the two most seminal works on prayer that have ever been penned, his being the most popular: With Christ in the School of Prayer, A. Murray and E.M Bounds on Prayer, E.M. Bounds.
In 1889, he was one of the founders of the South African General Mission (SAGM), because its ministry had spread into other African countries, the mission’s name was changed to Africa Evangelical Fellowship (AEF) in 1965. AEF joined with Serving In Mission (SIM) in 1998 and continues to this day. Through his writings and his theology of faith healing and belief in the continuation of the apostolic gifts he became the significant forerunner of the Pentecostal movement.
Sixty years of ministry in the Dutch Reformed Church of South Africa, more than 240 books and tracts on Christian spirituality and ministry, extensive social work, and the founding of educational institutions—all these were outward signs of the inward grace that Murray experienced by continually casting himself on Christ.
“May not a single moment of my life be spent outside the light, love, and joy of God’s presence,” was his prayer. “And not a moment without the entire surrender of myself as a vessel for him to fill full of his Spirit and his love.” Through his preaching and writing, Murray slowly became an international figure
There are elements in the Christian life that mark it with beauty and wellbeing. They make a person fit for being a blessing to others in this world. They are the attitudes that call forth heroic virtues of the life of faith. Nothing shows more nobility of character that the spirit of daring and perseverance which battles major difficulties and conquers. So should we who are Christians be able to face the difficulties we meet in prayer. The blessings that others need must be called down from heaven in persevering, believing prayer.
These are the marks of a true intercessor:
• An understanding of the need of those who don’t know Christ
• A Christlike love
• An awareness of personal inadequacy
• Faith in the power of prayer
• Courage to persevere in spite of refusal
• The assurance of an abundant reward
These are the qualities that change a Christian into an intercessor.
Is it possible to do much faithful, earnest, and sacrificial work for others without genuine love for them? Out of a high sense of calling and faithfulness to their profession, a physician can become deeply involved in the needs of their patients without a tincture of special love for them. In the same manner, Christians may give themselves to their work with devotion and self-sacrificing passion without any strong Christlike love.
The lack of love causes a lack of prayer. Love will compel us to pray. It is the nature of love to forget itself for the sake of others. We talk a lot about the power of love. In one sense this is true, and yet the truth has limitations. The most robust love may be utterly inadequate. Inadequacy can be our hope and refuge. Why? All my passion and zeal eventually ends, and I have nothing. Insufficiency gives strength to the life of intercession. My love takes refuge in intercession, and the Spirit makes up for my lack.
The administration of the Holy Spirit is guided by one great principle: God gives the Spirit in response to our asking. The pouring out of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost was given in answer to prayer.
What we must have is absolute, determined prayer. This is what lies at the root of the spiritual life and power of the church. The degree with which God gives His Spirit is determined by our asking. Is it possible for a man or woman to work and still keep the heavenly world in clear focus for the maintenance of the spiritual life? Read on.
In the most profound picture of prayer we find in the gospels, Luke 11: 1-13, Jesus teaches the disciples to pray in response to their request. We focus on the Lord’s Prayer and fail to realize that part of His teaching is the parable that follows. It is the parable of the man who has a friend that comes to him at midnight in need of bread. Because of the man’s persistence, he is fed. Jesus teaches in the parable that learning to pray with the power Holy Spirit is simply this:
“Ask and it will be given to you.”
“Seek and you shall find.”
“Knock and it shall be opened.”
“HOW MUCH MORE SHALL YOUR HEAVENLY FATHER GIVE THE HOLY SPIRIT TO THOSE W HO ASK HIM?” Luke 11:9-13