In this chapter, Andrew Murray reminds us that our highest calling is not preaching, or speaking, or church visitation, but it is to cultivate the life of God in himself daily, and to be a witness of what the Lord teaches him and accomplishes in him.
It was true even of the Lord Jesus. Why was it necessary that He who had no sin to confess sometimes spent all night in prayer to God? It is because his spiritual life had to be strengthened through an intimate relationship with His Father. His experience of a life in which He took time for fellowship with God enabled Him to share that life with us. Without this, our preaching and our service will have little power
Andrew Murray shared a short study of the prayer life of Paul. I was blown away with how many times Paul said that he was constantly praying for the churches he ministered to. Paul was a minister who prayed much for his congregation. Read his words prayerfully so that you may hear the voice of the Spirit.
- How constantly I remember you in my prayers at all times; and I pray that now at last by God’s will the way may be opened for me to come to you. I long to see you so that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to make you strong” (Romans 1:9–11).
- I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers. (Eph 1:15)
- “For I know that through your prayers and the help given by the Spirit of Jesus Christ, what has happened to me will turn out for my deliverance. (Phil 1:9)
- For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding. (Col 1:9)
- “Night and day we pray most earnestly that we may see you again and supply what is lacking in your faith. (1 Thess 3:10
This incredible study for our private prayer time teaches us that unceasing prayer formed a large part of Paul’s service in the gospel. He prayed regularly for the Roman church Ephesian church, Philippian church, Colossian church and the Thessalonian church. He used words like “at all times,” “without ceasing,” “night and day”, etc.
Andrew Murray concludes his study by sharing Paul’s invitation to us to join him in prayer:
- I urge you, brothers, by our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love of the Spirit, to join me in my struggle by praying to God for me. Pray that I may be rescued from the unbelievers in Judea and that my service in Jerusalem may be acceptable to the saints there” (Romans 15:30–31).
- “Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains. Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should” (Colossians 4:2–4).
As Paul devoted himself to prayer, he had deep insight into what will bring unity in the body. As Paul invited others to pray for Him also, he knew these were men and women on whom he could rely for prayer because they had power with God! What a lesson for all ministers of the gospel. As we grow in our prayer life, praying for others, and inviting them to pray for us, we will grow together.
Let us together learn the lesson, and seek God that we all may grow in the grace of prayer, so that all our service and Christian life may witness that the Spirit of prayer rules us.