Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Oldie Goldie

While I read contemporary authors, I must confess that I am partial to reading what might be considered the "oldie goldies" of spiritual writings. Or, maybe they should be called vintage writings. What I know is that I am drawn toward the writings and the stories of those who lived, worked, and wrote in other centuries. Spiritual giants like John Wesley, George Mueller, Hudson Taylor, Oswald Chambers, and E.M. Bounds seem to have so much to say to my spiritual journey. The fact that their writings are still read by today's believers speaks volumes about what they have written.
Another such writer is Andrew Murray. Murray's dates are 1828-1917. He pastored in South Africa and when he retired at age 78, he entered into an intense season of writing. A compilation of some of his writings is bound together under the title, Andrew Murray on Prayer. On one of the pages of this volume, he speaks of intercessory prayer in an unusual manner: "God regards intercession as the highest expression of His people's readiness to receive and to yield themselves wholly to the working of His almighty power." The common teachings about such prayer often take us in a different direction, one that centers more on getting God to do something we think He needs to do.
However, Murray takes us to a different place. Intercessory prayer is not really so high on the agenda listings of most churches. And aside from noting before God our listing of the sick, it is probably not so high on our personal spiritual agendas. Perhaps, Andrew Murray opens a new window for us to see the reason the church of our day so often muddles around in the mundane. Maybe we are not ready for anything more.

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