Andrew Murray was the second child of Andrew Murray Sr. (1794-1866), a Dutch Reformed Church missionary sent from Scotland to South Africa. Andrew Murray was born on May 9th, 1828 in Graaff Reinet, South Africa. His mother had connections with both French Huguenots and German Lutherans.
In 1838, when Murray was ten, he and his brother John went to study in Scotland. They went to train with their uncle, the Rev. John Murray. In the spring of 1840 the revivalist William C. Burns came and spoke in Aberdeen, Scotland. Burns made a deep impression Andrew. He was staying at his uncle’s house and they spent long evenings sharing about the work of God. Burns had been instrumental in the great Kilsyth Revival of 1839. His heart was constantly broken over the lost, and he would weep and pray for hours for their salvation. Andrew would listen, with awe, as Burns would preach, and he saw a model of what he would like to become. Andrew and John attended Marischal College and graduated in 1844.
From there, they both went to the University of Utrecht where they studied theology. The two brothers became members of Het Rveil, a religious revival movement opposed to the rationalism which was in vogue in the Netherlands at that time. Both brothers were ordained by the Hague Committee of the Dutch Reformed Church on May 9, 1848 and returned to the Cape.
Murray married Emma Rutherford in Cape Town, South Africa, on July 2, 1856. They had eight children together (four boys and four girls).
Andrew pastored churches in Bloemfontein, Worcester, Cape Town and Wellington, all in South Africa. He was a champion of the South African Revival of 1860.
Murray’s life was preaching and teaching. Then tragedy struck. In 1879 he became ill and his throat was impacted. He lost his voice and began the two “silent years”. These years molded Murray in a new way. He surrendered everything to God. He came to a place of deep humility and love for God and for others. He met with Otto Stockmayer to get a deeper understanding of the theology of healing. In 1881 he went to London to Bethshan, a faith cure home started by W. E. Boardman. He was completely healed there and never had trouble with his throat again. From that point on he knew that the gifts of God were for believers today, and taught and wrote about it. In 1882 he attended the Keswick Convention. This convention emphasized “Holiness” and “Deeper Life” themes. Eventually, in 1895, he became a featured speaker.
Over his lifetime, he wrote more than 240 books, all of which were dictated to his wife Emma or his daughter, due to his inability to write clearly.
His methods of work during the latter years of his life are thus described by his daughter: 'He sits up very straight in his study chair, and dictates in a loud, clear voice, as though he were actually addressing his audience. His hours of work are usually from 9 or 10 till 11 in the forenoon, during which time two or three chapters of a book are completed. He is very particular about punctuation, and always says: "New paragraph," pointing with long, slender finger to the exact spot on the paper where the new line must commence, "fullstop," "comma," "colon," "semi-colon," as the sense may require. Should his secretary perpetrate some mistake or other in spelling, he would make some playful remark like: "You will have to go back to the kindergarten, you know." At 11 o'clock he would say: "Now give me ten minutes' rest; or no, let us write some letters for a change." Then half a dozen letters would be quickly dictated, in reply to requests for prayer for healing, for the conversion of unconverted relations, for the deliverance of friends addicted to drink, or, it might be, business letters. He always dictated in a tone of great earnestness, and was specially anxious to get a great deal into a page. "Write closer, closer," he often repeated. When near the end of the foolscap page, he said: "Now the last four lines for a prayer"; and then he would fold his hands, close his eyes, and actually pray the prayer which ended the written meditation.
He died on January 18, 1917, four months before his eighty-ninth birthday. Over the years he inﬂuenced many, including Jessie Penn-Lewis, a key ﬁgure in the 1904-1905 Welsh Revival.
A Longer Biography
DuPlessis: Andrew Murray
Stories from Andrew Murray's Life
(and his Family's Life)
The Heritage of a Godly Mother
"I never said much... but just tried to live as well as I could."
An excerpt about Andrew Murray's Family: "The young preacher from Scotland saw a fair Dutch girl who attracted his attention. He was at the impressionable age which sooner or later comes to most young men, and, to make a long story short, he wooed and won this fair girl, and, as a bride of only sixteen years of age, carried her off to the parsonage in Graaf Reinet, a flourishing village in an oasis of the Karoo, or desert lands of South Africa. Here a family of seventeen children were born, twelve of whom lived to grow up, and I was told, when in Graaf Reinet, that each of these children averaged twelve children of their own, though some had several more. Most of them grew up to manhood and womanhood, and became preachers or preachers' wives, missionaries, or teachers, or religious workers of eminence in some sphere, scattering all over South Africa and making their influence felt for good wherever they went...." (Read the rest of the story.)
The Founding of Huguenot College
(Founded and Built Up in Prayer)
An introductory excerpt from Andrew Murray's life: "It was not the building up of one institution, but of many that became in one way and another linked with the ﬁrst. It was not the problem of one section of the country, but of the nation, of the continent. It was not only the spiritual and intellectual development of the students for themselves, but how they might best be ﬁtted to meet the growing needs of others. There were teachers to be trained who should instruct many-ﬁrst there was a teachers’ class, and then a normal training school. There were missionaries to be prepared by study and practice for their great work-ﬁrst there was a mission training class, and then a Bible training school. There were those who must be ready for positions of responsibility at the head of large boarding and day schools, those who were to be leaders in thought and spiritual power-ﬁrst there was a collegiate class going further than the high-school course, and then there was a college, the earliest for young women in Africa. It was a small beginning, but it has grown, and God has blessed it...." (Read the rest of the story.)
A Brief History of Huguenot Seminary
(and the ongoing influence of Mary Lyon's Holyoke Seminary on Andrew Murray)
An excerpt about Andrew Murray's father: "This man of God, Andrew Murray, nearly twenty years ago, buried two young children at his African home; and, as Mrs. Murray expressed it, “their hands seemed emptied, and ready for some work with which the Lord was waiting to ﬁll them.” The bereaved husband and wife went in December, 1872, to the seaside to rest, and there they read together the marvelous life of Mary Lyon. So thrilled were they by that story of heroism that they sought to obtain everything that could further inform them of the subsequent history of the Holyoke Seminary and its pupils, and eagerly devoured the story of Fidelia Fiske, the Mary Lyon of Persia. Just at this time the descendants of those Huguenot refugees living at Wellington were proposing to build some monument or memorial to their ancestors; and Mr. Murray was strangely and strongly impressed that the best memorial they could rear was just such a school for their daughters. The schools scattered through South Africa were neither such as the mind nor morals of the girls needed; few of them were ﬁtted to train souls for service here or glory hereafter...." (Read the rest of the document)
Some Sermons of Andrew Murray
The Kingdom First
"Give up EVERYTHING for it...."
An excerpt from Andrew Murray's sermon: "... But now comes the important question, “How can I attain this?” Here we come to the great question that is troubling the lives of tens of thousands of Christians throughout the world. And it is strange that it is so very difﬁcult for them to ﬁnd the answer; that tens of thousands are not able to give an answer; and others, when the answer is given, cannot understand it. The day the centurion found his joy in being devoted to the Roman Empire, it took charge of him with all its power and glory. Dear friends, how are we to attain to this blessed position in which the Kingdom of God shall ﬁll our hearts with such enthusiasm that it will spontaneously be ﬁrst every day? The answer is: First of all, give up everything for it. You have heard of the Roman soldier who gave up his soul, his affection, his life, who gave up everything to be a soldier; and you have often seen, in history, ancient and modern, how men who were not soldiers gave up their lives in sacriﬁce for a king or a country. You have heard how in the South African Republic not many years ago the war of liberty was fought. After three years of oppression by the English the people said they would endure it no longer, and so they gathered together to ﬁght for their liberty. They knew how weak they were, as compared with the English power; but they said, “We must have our liberty.” They bound themselves together to ﬁght for it; and when that vow had been made, they went to their homes to prepare for the struggle. Such a thrill of enthusiasm passed through that country that in many cases, women, when their husbands might have been allowed to stay at home, said to them: “No, go, even though you have not been commanded.” And there were mothers who, when one son was called out to the front, said: “No, take two or three.” Every man and woman was ready to die. It was in very deed, “Our country ﬁrst, before everything. “ And even so, friends, must it be with you if you want this wonderful Kingdom of God to take possession of you...." (Read the rest of the sermon)
That God May Be All in All
An excerpt: "I must accept His will in every providence. Whether it be a Judas that betrays, or whether it be a Pilate in his indifference who gives me up to the enemy; whatever the trouble, or temptation, or vexation, or worry, that comes, I must see God in it, and accept it as God's will to me. Trouble of any sort that comes to me is God's will for me. It is not God's will that men should do the wrong, but it is God's will that they should be in circum-stances of trial. There is never a trial that comes to us but it is God's will for us, and if we learn to see God in it, then we bid it welcome." (Read the rest of the chapter)
Andrew Murray on Prayer
The Conditions of Answered Prayer
An excerpt: "It is far easier to the flesh to submit without the answer than to yield itself to be searched and purified by the Spirit, until it has learnt to pray the prayer of faith.” (Read the rest of the document)
The Certainty of Answers
An excerpt: "According to this teaching of the Master, prayer consists of two parts, has two sides, a human and a Divine. The human is the asking, the Divine is the giving. Or, to look at both from the human side, there is the asking and the receiving—the two halves that make up a whole. It is as if He would tell us that we are not to rest without an answer, because it is the will of God, the rule in the Father’s family: every childlike believing petition is granted. If no answer comes, we are not to sit down in the sloth that calls itself resignation, and suppose that it is not God’s will to give an answer. No; there must be something in the prayer that is not as God would have it, childlike and believing; we must seek for grace to pray so that the answer may come. It is far easier to the ﬂesh to submit without the answer than to yield itself to be searched and puriﬁed by the Spirit, until it has learnt to pray the prayer of faith. It is one of the terrible marks of the diseased state of Christian life in these days, that there are so many who rest content without the distinct experience of answer to prayer." (Read the rest of Andrew Murray's thoughts on the subject
The Power that Comes Through Prayer
An excerpt from this article: "To the Christian who is not abiding wholly in Jesus, the difﬁculties connected with prayer are often so great as to rob him of the comfort and the strength it could bring. Under the guise of humility, he asks how one so unworthy could expect to have inﬂuence with the Holy One. He thinks of God’s sovereignty, His perfect wisdom and love, and cannot see how his prayer can really have any distinct effect. He prays, but it is more because he cannot rest without prayer, than from a loving faith that the prayer will be heard. But what a blessed release from such questions and perplexities is given to the soul who is truly abiding in Christ! He realizes increasingly how it is in the real spiritual unity with Christ that we are accepted and heard. The union with the Son of God is a life union: we are in very deed one with Him—our prayer ascends as His prayer. It is because we abide in Him that we can ask what we will, and it is given to us." (Read the rest of the document
Promoting Intercessory Prayer
This document is adapted from his introduction to the book the Ministry of Intercession. Here he points out that he wrote With Christ in the School of Prayer to make two points: (1) That God wants to answer our prayers; (2) That those answers depend on certain conditions being met. Over time Murray became convicted that the fully consecrated life was the GREAT condition. Accordingly he wrote the second book to promote more intercessory prayer that would obtain answers. Note the following paragraph:
"It became clear that the power to pray the effectual prayer of faith depended upon the life. It is only to man given up to live as entirely in Christ and for Christ as the branch in the vine and for the vine that these promises can come true. "In that day" Christ said, "ye shall ask in My Name." It is only in a life full of the Holy Spirit that the true power to ask in Christ's Name can be known. This led to the emphasizing the truth that the ordinary Christian life cannot appropriate these promises. It needs a spiritual life altogether sound and vigorous to pray in power. The teaching naturally led to press the need of a life of entire consecration." (Read the rest of the introduction)
With Christ in the School of Prayer
This is considered by many one of the best books ever written on prayer. It should be required reading! An Excerpt from Murray's wonderful book:
"There is a twofold use of prayer: the one, to obtain strength and blessing for our own life; the other, the higher, the true glory of prayer, for which Christ has taken us into His fellowship and teaching, is intercession, where prayer is the royal power a child of God exercises in heaven on behalf of others and even of the kingdom. We see it in Scripture, how it was in intercession for others that Abraham and Moses, Samuel and Elijah, with all the holy men of old, proved that they had power with God and prevailed. It is when we give ourselves to be a blessing that we can specially count on the blessing of God. It is when we draw near to God as the friend of the poor and the perishing that we may count on His friendliness; the righteous man who is the friend of the poor is very specially the friend of God. This gives wonderful liberty in prayer. Lord! I have a needy friend whom I must help. As a friend I have undertaken to help him. In Thee I have a Friend, whose kindness and riches I know to be inﬁnite: I am sure Thou wilt give me what I ask. If I, being evil, am ready to do for my friend what I can, how much more wilt Thou, O my heavenly Friend, now do for Thy friend what he asks?" (Go to the table of contents)
Andrew Murray on Healing
His Testimony on Healing
"Remaining in such a home with all its surroundings helps to make this matter plain and to strengthen faith… Morning by morning sixteen or eighteen of us who sought healing gathered around the Word of God and were instructed as to what still remained in us to prevent us from appropriating the promise. We were taught what there was in Scripture to encourage us to faith and complete surrender. I cannot remember that I ever listened to expositions of the Word of God in which greater simplicity and a more glorious spirit of faith were revealed, combined with heart-searching application of God’s demand to surrender everything to Him.” (Read the rest of his testimony
Divine Healing (His book on the subject)
"What is the direction here given to the sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let the elders pray for him. In the time of James there were physicians, but it is not to them the sick believer must turn. The elders then were the pastors and leaders of the churches, called to the ministry not because they had passed through schools of theology, but because they were filled with the Holy Spirit, and well known for their piety and for their faith. Why should their presence be needed by the sick one? Could not his friends have prayed? Yes; but it is not so easy for everybody to exercise the faith which obtains healing, and, doubtless, that is one reason why James desired that men should be called whose faith was firm and sure. Besides this, they were representatives to the sick one of the Church, the collective body of Christ, for it is the communion of believers which invites the Spirit to act with power. In short, they should, after the pattern of the great Shepherd of the sheep, care for the flock as He does, identify themselves with the sick one, understand his trouble, receive from God the necessary discernment to instruct him and encourage him to persevere in faith. It is, then, to the elders of the Church that the healing of the sick is committed, and it is they, the servants of the God who pardons iniquities and heals diseases (Ps. 103), who are called to transmit to others the Lord’s graces for soul and body." (Read the rest of the Divine Healing
Andrew Murray on Practical Christianity
On the Confession of Sin
An excerpt of his thoughts on this important subject: "When you ﬁrst came to Jesus, you perceived this in some measure. But you should learn to understand this lesson more deeply. The one counsel concerning sin is—bring it daily to the only One who can take it away, God Himself. You should learn that one of the greatest privileges of a child of God is the confession of sin. It is only the holiness of God that can consume sin. Through confession I must hand over my sin to God, lay it down in God, and get God’s acquittal of it. I must cast it into the ﬁery oven of God’s holy love which burns against sin like a ﬁre. God, yes, God Himself, and He alone, takes away sin." (Read more on the subject from Andrew Murray)
On Knowing God's Will
An excerpt on this important subject: "This unreserved surrender to obey, as it is the ﬁrst condition of entering Christ’s school, is the only ﬁtness for receiving instruction as to the will of God for us. There is a general will of God for all His children, which we can, in some measure, learn out of the Bible. But there is a special individual application of these commands-God’s will concerning each of us personally, which only the Holy Spirit can teach. And He will not teach it, except to those who have taken the vow of obedience. This is the reason why there are so many unanswered prayers for God to make known His will. Jesus said, ‘If any man wills to do His Will, he shall know of the teaching, whether it be of God.’ If a man’s will is really set on doing God’s will, that is, if his heart is given up to do, and he as a consequence does it as far as he knows it, he shall know what God has further to teach him." (Read more of Andrew Murray's thoughts on the subject)
On Bible Study
A few introductory thoughts on the subject: "A readiness to believe every promise implicitly, to obey every command unhesitatingly, to “stand perfect and complete in all the will of God,” is the only true spirit of Bible study." (Read more from Andrew Murray on reading the Bible)
On Daily Fellowship With God
"As you meditate on this wondrous salvation and seek full fellowship with the great and holy God, and wait on Him to reveal Christ in you, you will feel how needful the giving up of all is to receive Him. Seek grace to know what it means to live as wholly for God as Christ did. Only the Holy Spirit Himself can teach you what an entire yielding of the whole life to God can mean. Wait on God to show you in this what you do not know. Let every approach to God, and every request for fellowship with Him be accompanied by a new, very deﬁnite, and entire surrender to Him to work in you." (Read more from Andrew Murray on Daily Fellowship With God)
On the Morning Devotional
"There are a great many commands to which your attention may never have been directed, or others of which the application is so wide and unceasing that you have not taken it in. Read God's Word with a deep desire to know all His will. If there are things which appear difficult, commands which look too high, or for which you need a divine guidance to tell you how to carry them out,-and there are many such,-let them drive you to seek a divine teaching. It is not the text that is easiest and most encouraging that brings most blessing, but the text, whether easy or difficult, which throws you most upon God. God would have you 'filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding'; it is in the closet this wonderful work is to be done. Do remember, it is only when you know that God is telling you to do a thing that you feel sure He gives the strength to do it." (Read the rest of the chapter
Andrew Murray's Testimony on Victory
"In the first place I have learned to place myself before God every day, as a vessel to be filled with His Holy Spirit. He has filled me with the blessed assurance that He, as the everlasting God, has guaranteed His own work in me. If there is one lesson that I am learning day by day, it is this: that it is God who worketh all in all. Oh, that I could help any brother or sister to realize this!" (Read the rest of Andrew Murray' testimony on this important subject
On Christian Victory
An excerpt from The Master's Indwelling: "If we are to experience the full power of what Christ can do for us, we must learn to die with Christ. I ought not, perhaps, to use that expression, “We must learn to die with Christ;” I ought, rather, to say, “We must learn that we are dead with Christ.”
That is a glorious thought in the 6th chapter of Romans; to every believer in the Church of Rome-not to the select ones, or the advanced ones, but to every believer in the Church of Rome, however feeble, Paul writes, “You are dead with Christ.” On the strength of that be says, “Reckon yourselves dead unto sin.” What does that mean-You are dead to sin? We can not see it more clearly than by referring to Adam. Christ was the second Adam. What happened in the ﬁrst Adam? I died, in the ﬁrst Adam; I died to God; I died in sin. When I was born, I had in me the life of Adam, which had all the characteristics of the life of Adam after be had fallen. Adam died to God, and Adam died in sin, and I inherit the life of Adam, and so I am dead in sin as he was, and dead unto God. But at the very moment I begin to believe in Jesus, I become united to Christ, the second Adam, and as really as I am united by my birth to the ﬁrst Adam, I am made partaker of the life of Christ. What life? That life which died unto sin on Calvary, and which rose again; therefore God by his apostle tells us: “Reckon yourselves indeed dead unto sin and alive unto God in Christ Jesus.” You are to reckon it as true, because God says it-for your new nature is indeed, in virtue of your vital union to Christ, actually and utterly dead to sin." (Read the rest of the Master's Indwelling book from Andrew Murray
Andrew Murray Books
Andrew Murray: The Supreme Need
Andrew Murray: Thy Will Be Done
Andrew Murray: Why Do You Not Believe
Andrew Murray: With Christ in the School of Prayer
Andrew Murray: Within (or Kingdom of God Within)
Andrew Murray: Working For God