Secret Prayer

Andrew Murray

Thank God

1. As you enter the inner chamber let your first work be to thank God for the unspeakable love which invites you to come to him and to converse freely with him. If your heart is cold and hard, remember that religion is not a matter of feeling, but has to do first with the will. Raise your heart to God and thank him for the assurance you have that he looks down on you and will bless you. Through such an act of faith you honour God and draw your soul away from being occupied with itself. Think also of the glorious grace of the Lord Jesus, who is willing to teach you to pray and to give you the disposition to do so. Think, too, of the Holy Spirit who was purposely given to cry, 'Abba, Father', in your heart, and to help your weakness in prayer. Five minutes spent thus will strengthen your faith for your work in the inner chamber. Once more I say, begin with an act of thanksgiving and praise God for the inner chamber and the promise of blessing there.

Prepare By Prayerful Bible Study

2. You must prepare yourself for prayer by prayerful Bible study. The great reason why the inner chamber is not attractive is that people do not know how to pray. Their stock of words is soon exhausted and they do not know what further to say, because they forget that prayer is not a soliloquy, where everything comes from one side; but it is a dialogue, where God's child listens to what the Father says, and replies to it, and then asks for the things he needs.

Read a few verses from the Bible. Do not concern yourself with the difficulties contained in them. You can consider these later; but take what you understand, apply it to yourself, and ask the Father to make his word light and power in your heart. Thus you will have material enough for prayer from the word which the Father speaks to you; you will also have the liberty to ask for things you need. Keep on in this way, and the inner chamber will become at length, not a place where you sigh and struggle only, but one of living fellowship with the Father in heaven. Prayerful study of the Bible is indispensable for powerful prayer.

Prayer Reverently and Quietly

3. When you have thus received the word into your heart, turn to prayer. But do not attempt it hastily or thoughtlessly, as though you knew well enough how to pray. Prayer in our own strength brings no blessing. Take time to present yourself reverently and in quietness before God. Remember his greatness and holiness and love. Think over what you wish to ask from him. Do not be satisfied with going over the same things every day. No child goes on saying the same thing day after day to his earthly father. 

Converse with the Father is coloured by the needs of the day. Let your prayer be something definite, arising either out of the word which you have read, or out of the real soul-needs which you long to have satisfied. Let your prayer be so definite that you can say as you go out, 'I know what 1 have asked from my Father, and I expect an answer.' It is a good plan sometimes to take a piece of paper and write down what you wish to pray for. You might keep such a paper for a week or more, and repeat the prayers till some new need arises.

Pray For Others

4. What has been said is in reference to your own needs. But you know that we are allowed to pray that we may help also in the needs of others. One great reason why prayer in the inner chamber does not bring more joy and blessing is that it is too selfish, and selfishness is the death of prayer.

Remember your family; your congregation, with its interests; your own neighbourhood; and the church to which you belong. Let your heart be enlarged and take up the interests of missions and of the church through the whole world. Become an intercessor, and you will experience for the first time the blessedness of prayer, as you find out that God will make use of you to share his blessing with others through prayer. You will begin to feel that there is something worth living for, as you find that you have something to say to God, and that he from heaven will do things in answer to your prayers which otherwise would not have been done.

Continue In Prayer the Remainder of the Day

5. Do not forget the close bond between the inner chamber and the outer world. The attitude of the inner chamber must remain with us all the day. The object of the inner chamber is so to unite us to God that we may have him always abiding with us. Andrew Murray, The Prayer Life, p. 85-89