Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Living a Prayerful Life: A Book Review

I have taken quite a significant turn in the material I have been reading as of late, and Andrew Murray is a "new" author that I have enjoyed immensely. I have had a craving for more spiritually intellectual material and Murray strikes that balance very well. It is one part devotional material and one part theology, both playing off one another in a divine soliloquy.

Murray entreats the reader to a life of believing prayer; a life founded upon the Word of God with the prayer life the cornerstone of such a life. Murray proves that our lives are continuous prayers, whether we realize it or not, and attitudes, behaviors, and actions either praise God or belittle Him. "What do you think? Which has the stronger influence over you: five- or ten-minute prayers or the whole day spent thinking on worldly desires? Do not be surprised if your prayers are not answered" (p. 116).

Murray contends rightfully that the secret of a godly life can only be discovered not by spending time in prayer, but by spending much time in prayer. This book is a needed remedy against the fast-paced, hectic lifestyle of the modern Christian, the Christian who has no time at all for spiritual disciplines. Though he never says it, perhaps if the book could be summed up in a simple phrase, one might think, "Slow down." Let's face it--godliness isn't achieved overnight or pell-mell. It takes work--hard, knee-breaking work and Murray exhorts us lovingly to undertake such a task. Why? Its worth it; eternally worth it.

One of the greatest needs in the lives of Christians and the church today is focused, intentional, deliberate, believing prayer. If you want to seriously pray, then I would encourage you to pick up this book and read each chapter slowly. Digest Murray's thoughts; let the Spirit work it into your soul.

Murray, Andrew. Living a Prayerful Life. Minneapolis: Bethany House, 2002. 159 pages. (I searched for the original publication date, but was unable to find it. The introduction states that the book was the fruit of a minister's conference in South Africa on April 11-14, 1912. Murray lived from 1828-1917.)