Teach Me to Pray

Teach Me to Pray

by Andrew Murray


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Teach Me to Pray by Andrew Murray

Contemporary Christians know that God answers prayer and that praying is important, but most also wish their prayer life could be more effective. Murray instructs readers from Scripture and the life of Jesus that prayer is the root and strength of all work for God, that God intends to answer every prayer, and that prayer is meant to be a way of life. These thirty-one classic meditations, written in 1885, have been edited and clarified for new readers.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780764225963
Publisher: Baker Publishing Group
Publication date: 06/01/2002
Edition description: REV
Pages: 240
Sales rank: 381,028
Product dimensions: 5.00(w) x 7.00(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author

Andrew Murray was born in South Africa in 1828. After receiving his education in Scotland and Holland, he returned to South Africa and spent many years there as both a pastor and missionary. He wrote over two hundred books, including some of the most enduring classics of Christian literature. He and his wife, Emma, raised eight children, and it is said that their home was an endless stream of activity.

Read an Excerpt

Teach Me to Pray

By Andrew Murray

Barbour Publishing, Inc.

Copyright © 2011 Barbour Publishing, Inc.
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-61626-351-5


Wait Upon God

He {Daniel} prayed three times a day, just as he had always done, giving thanks to his God.

Daniel 6:10

The more I think of and pray about the religious situation in our country, the deeper my conviction becomes that Christians do not realize that the aim of conversion is to bring them into daily fellowship with the Father in heaven.

For the believer, taking time each day with God's Word and in prayer is indispensable. Each day we need to wait upon God for His presence and His love to be revealed.

It is not enough at conversion to accept forgiveness of sins or even to surrender to God. That is only a beginning. We must understand that we have no power on our own to maintain our spiritual life. We need to receive daily new grace from heaven through fellowship with the Lord Jesus. This cannot be obtained by a hasty prayer or a superficial reading of a few verses from God's Word. We must take time to come into God's presence, to feel our weakness and our need, and to wait on God through His Holy Spirit to renew our fellowship with Him. Then we may expect to be kept by the power of Christ throughout the day.

It is my aim to help Christians to see the absolute necessity of spending time with the Lord Jesus. Without this, the joy and power of God's Holy Spirit in daily life cannot be experienced.

Fellowship with God

"I have loved you even as the Father has loved me. Remain in my love."

John 15:9

The three Persons in the Godhead are the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit—each one is different from the others. God desires to reveal Himself as a person. Each one of us is an individual distinct from others and standing in certain relationships to others. God will reveal Himself to us as a person, and we are called to enter into fellowship with Him.

God greatly desires this relationship with us, but sin has come between us and our God. Even in Christians who know God, there is often great ignorance and even indifference to this personal relationship of love to God.

People believe that at conversion their sins are forgiven, that God accepts them so that they may go to heaven, and that they should try to do God's will. But they do not realize that, even as a father and his child on earth enjoy being together, so they must have this intimate fellowship with God each day.

Our relationship to Christ rests on His deep, tender love to us. We are not capable on our own to render Him this love, but the Holy Spirit will do the work in us. Meditate quietly on this thought: "And because they love me, my Father will love them, and I will love them" (John 14:21). Take time to experience this personal fellowship.


You are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.

Matthew 1:21

The Lord Jesus was a person on this earth. He had His own individual name. His mother, His disciples, all His friends called Him by this name—Jesus. But they probably thought little of what that name meant. Nor do the majority of Christians know what a treasure is contained in that name—Jesus—"He shall save His people from their sins."

Many think about His death on the cross and His resurrection, but do they realize that He is a living person in heaven who thinks of us each day? He wants us to bring Him our love and worship.

When we first ask Jesus Christ to save us from our sins, we know very little about how this is done. The living Christ reveals Himself to us, and through the power of His love, our desire to sin is taken away. Through personal fellowship with Him, Jesus saves us from our sins. First we must come to Jesus confessing all the sin in our hearts. We must know Him as the almighty personal Savior in whom God's holiness dwells. As we fellowship together in the expression of mutual love, by the work of His Holy Spirit in our hearts, His love will expel and conquer all the sin.

Alone with God

"When you pray, go away by yourself, shut the door behind you, and pray to your Father secretly."

Matthew 6:6

Have you ever thought what a wonderful privilege it is to have the liberty of asking God to meet with you and to hear what you have to say? We should use such a privilege gladly and faithfully.

"When you pray," says Jesus, "go away by yourself, shut the door behind you, and pray to your Father secretly." This means two things. 1) Shut the world out; withdraw from all the thoughts and concerns of the day. 2) Shut yourself in alone with God to pray in secret. Let this be your chief object in prayer, to realize the presence of your heavenly Father. Let your goal be: "Alone with God."

Being alone in His presence and praying to the Father in secret is only the beginning. Come to Him in the full assurance that He knows how you long for His help and guidance. He will listen to you.

Then follows the great promise of verse 6: "Then your Father, who knows all secrets, will reward you." Your Father will see to it that your prayer is not in vain. Prayer in secret will be followed by the secret working of God in your heart.

Obey the Word of God

"People need more than bread for their life; they must feed on every word of God."

Matthew 4:4

Bread is indispensable to life. We all understand this. However strong a person may be, if he takes no nourishment he will grow weaker and eventually die. Even so with the Word of God.

Bread must be eaten. I may know all about bread. I may give it to others. I may have bread in my house and on my table in great abundance, but that will not help me. I must eat the bread.

If through illness I am unable to eat it, I shall die. Likewise, mere knowledge of God's Word and even preaching it to others will not help me. It is not enough to think about it. I must feed on God's Word and take it into my heart and life.

Bread must be eaten daily, and the same is true of God's Word. The psalmist says: "They delight in doing everything the LORD wants; day and night they think about his law" (Psalm 1:2). "Oh, how I love your law! I think about it all day long" (Psalm 119:97). To secure a strong and powerful spiritual life, spending time in God's Word every day is indispensable. When on earth the Lord Jesus learned, loved, and obeyed the word of the Father. If you seek fellowship with Him, you will find Him in His Word.


If you obey me and do whatever I command you ... I will be your God

Jeremiah 11:4

God gave this command to Israel when He gave them the law, but Israel had no power to keep the law. So God gave a "new covenant" to enable His people to live a life of obedience. We read in Jeremiah 32:40: "I will make an everlasting covenant with them ... I will put a desire in their hearts to worship me, and they will never leave me." Ezekiel 36:27 says: "I will put my Spirit in you so you will obey my laws and do whatever I command." These wonderful promises gave the assurance that obedience would be their desire.

Listen to what Jesus says about obedience in John 14:21, 23: "Those who obey my commandments are the ones who love me. And because they love me, my Father will love them, and I will love them.... And we will come to them and live with them."

No father can train his children unless they are obedient. No teacher can teach a child who continues to disobey him. No general can lead his soldiers to victory without prompt obedience. Ask God to imprint this lesson on your heart: The life of faith is a life of obedience. As Christ lived in obedience to the Father, so we need to live in loving obedience to God.

Do you think it's impossible for you to be obedient? It may be impossible to you, but not to God. He has promised to "put my Spirit in you so you will obey my laws." Pray and meditate on these words.

Confession of Sin

If we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us and tocleanse us from every wrong.

1 John 1:9

Too often the confession of sin is superficial and neglected. Few Christians realize how absolutely necessary confession is. An honest confession of sin gives power to live a life of victory over sin. We need to confess with a sincere heart every sin that may be a hindrance in our Christian lives.

Listen to what David says, "I confessed all my sins to you and stopped trying to hide them. I said to myself, 'I will confess my rebellion to the Lord.' And you forgave me! All my guilt is gone. For you are my hiding place; you protect me from trouble. You surround me with songs of victory" (Psalm 32:5, 7). David speaks of a time when he was unwilling to confess his sin. "When I refused to confess my sin, I was weak and miserable" (verse 3). But when he had confessed his sin, a wonderful change came.

Confession means not only that I confess my sin with shame and repentance, but that I turn it over to God, trusting Him to take it away. Such confession implies that I am unable to get rid of my guilt unless, by an act of faith, I trust God to deliver me. This deliverance means that I know my sins are forgiven and that Christ undertakes to cleanse me from the sin and keep me from its power.

The First Love

But I have this complaint against you. You don't love me or each other as you did at first!"

Revelation 2:4

In Revelation 2:2–3, eight signs are mentioned showing the zeal of the church at Ephesus, but there was one bad sign. The Lord said: "Turn back to me again and work as you did at first. If you don't, I will come and remove your lampstand from its place among the churches" (verse 5). What was this sin? "You don't love me or each other as you did at first!" (verse 4).

We find the same sin in the church today. There is enthusiasm for the truth, there is continuous hard work, but what the Lord values most is missing: tender, fervent love for Him.

A Christian may be a good example in all he does, yet the tender love for Jesus is missing. There is no personal, daily fellowship with Christ. All the many activities with which people satisfy themselves are nothing in the eyes of the Master.

Dear friend, this book speaks of the fellowship of love with Christ and spending time in His presence. Everything depends on this. Christ came from heaven to love us just as the Father loved Him. He suffered to win our hearts for this love. His love can be satisfied with nothing less than deep personal love.

Christ considers this of prime importance. Let us do so, too. Even though we are doing many good things "for the Lord," we must not leave "our first love."

The Holy Spirit

"He will bring me glory by revealing to you whatever he receives from me."

John 16:14

The last night that He was with His disciples, Jesus promised to send the Holy Spirit as a Comforter. Although His bodily presence was removed, they would realize His presence in them and with them in a wonderful way. The Holy Spirit of God would reveal Christ in their hearts so that they would experience His presence with them continually. The Spirit would glorify Christ and would reveal to them the glorified Christ in love and power.

Do not fail to understand, to believe, and to experience this wonderful truth. Doing the Lord's work is not a duty performed in one's own strength. No, that is impossible; it is the Holy Spirit alone who will teach us to love Him sincerely.

God must have entire possession of us. He claims our whole heart and life. He will give us the strength to have fellowship with Christ, to keep His commandments, and to abide in His love. Once we have grasped this truth, we will begin to feel our deep dependence on the Holy Spirit and ask the Father to send Him in power into our hearts.

Christ's Love to Us

"1 have loved you even as the Father has loved me. Remain in my love."

John 15:9

In relationships between friends and relatives, everything depends on their love to each other. What value is wealth if love is lacking between husband and wife, or parents and children? What value is knowledge and enthusiasm in God's work without the knowledge and experience of Christ's love? (See 1 Corinthians 13:1–3.) Christians need to know by experience how much Christ loves them, and to learn how they may abide and continue in that love.

Christ says: "As the Father has loved Me"—that is a divine, everlasting, wonderful love! "I also have loved you." The same love with which He had loved the Father He now gives us. He really desires that this everlasting love should rest upon us. What a blessing! Christ wants us to live in the power of the love of God that He also experienced.

In your fellowship with Christ in private or in public, you are surrounded by God's love. Jesus longs to fill you with His love.

Read from time to time what God's Word says about the love of Christ. Meditate on the words and let them sink into your heart. Sooner or later you will begin to realize: The greatest happiness of your life is that you are loved by the Lord Jesus and can live in fellowship with Him every day.

Our Love to Christ

You love him even though you have never seen him. Though you do not see him, you trust him.

1 Peter 1:

People who had never seen Christ still truly loved Him and believed on Him. Their hearts were filled with unspeakable joy. Such is the life of a Christian who really loves the Lord.

The chief attribute of the Father and of the Son is love to each other and love to man. This should be the chief characteristic of the true Christian. Life becomes a well of living water, flowing out as love to the Lord Jesus.

This love is not merely a happy feeling. It is an active principle. It takes pleasure in doing the will of the Lord. It is joy to keep His commandments. As the love of Christ was shown to us by His death on the cross, our love must be exhibited in unselfish, self-sacrificing lives. Please understand this: In the Christian life, love to Christ is everything!

Great love results in great faith—faith in His love to us, faith in the powerful revelation of His love in our hearts, faith that He will work all His good pleasure in us. The wings of faith and love will lift us up to heaven and we shall be filled with joy beyond words. The joy of the Christian is an indispensable witness to the world of the power of Christ to change hearts and to fill them with love and gladness.

Take time daily in His presence to drink in His love.

Love to Christians

"So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other."

John 13:34

Jesus told His disciples that as the Father had loved Him, even so He loved them. And now, following His example, we must love one another with the same love. "Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples" (John 13:35). He had prayed: "My prayer for all of them is that they will be one, just as you and I are one, Father—that just as you are in me and I am in you, so they will be in us, and the world will believe you sent me" (John 17:21). If we exhibit the love that was in God towards Christ, and in Christ to us, the world will be obliged to confess that our Christianity is genuine.

This is what actually happened. The Greeks and Romans, Jews and heathen, hated each other. Between all the nations of the world there was hardly a thought of love. The very idea of self-sacrifice was a strange one. When unbelievers saw that Christians from different nations, under the powerful working of the Holy Spirit, loved one another even to the point of self-sacrifice in times of need—they were amazed. They said: "Behold, how these people love one another!"

Often Christ's love is not evident among Christians. Ask God to enable you to love your fellow believers as Christ loves you.

Persevering Prayer

Keep on praying.

1 Thessalonians 5:17

One of the greatest drawbacks to the life of prayer is that the answer does not come as quickly as we expect. We are discouraged and think: "Perhaps I do not pray right." So we do not persevere. Jesus often talked about this. There may be a reason for the delay and the waiting may bring a blessing. Our desire must grow deeper and stronger, and we must ask with our whole heart. God puts us into the practicing school of persevering prayer so that our weak faith may be strengthened.


Excerpted from Teach Me to Pray by Andrew Murray. Copyright © 2011 Barbour Publishing, Inc.. Excerpted by permission of Barbour Publishing, Inc..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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Teach Me to Pray 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
jbm More than 1 year ago
Andrew Murray is an amazing godly man. Love this book!
Shelby Sadlak More than 1 year ago