From South Africa with Love – Week 2

September 23, 2010

I am currently in South Africa with a team of trainer/facilitators from my ministry. For the names of the team members and our respective schedules, click here.  Please pray for us!

For my Thursday posts during this time away, I am featuring thoughts and writings from one of my favorite South African pastors/writers, Andrew Murray, who pastored churches in South Africa from 1850 – 1917.  Two of his works which I have loved are Abide in Christ and With Christ in the School of Prayer.

So You Will Have Power in Prayer

“If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you.” John 15:7

“Prayer is both one of the means and one of the fruits of union with Christ.  As a means it is of unspeakable importance.  All the things of faith, all the pleadings of desire, all the yearnings after a fuller surrender, all the confessions of shortcoming and of sin, all the exercises in which the soul gives up self and clings to Christ, find their utterance in prayer.  In each meditation on abiding in Christ, as some new feature of what Scripture teaches concerning this blessed life is apprehended, the first impulse of the believer is at once to look up to the Father and pour out the heart into His, and ask from Him the full understanding and the full possession of what he has been shown in the Word.  And it is the believer, who is not content with this spontaneous expression of his hope, but who takes time in secret prayer to wait until he has received and laid hold of what he has seen, who will really grow strong in Christ.”  A. Murray, Abide in Christ

In the mid-1980’s, while I was starting my law practice in another city,  my home church went through a major division, resulting in a church split right down the middle.  With more than 2,000 people voting at one fateful business meeting about whether or not to support the pastor, there was a 6 vote difference.  49% of the church got up and left and started a new church.  Just a few years later, I moved home and came back to that home church only to find deep, deep levels of pain and distrust…a complete lack of the kind of unity the Bible describes.

I was ordained as a deacon and I began to take on more and more leadership responsibility in that very culture.  It was painful, to say the least.  I can remember walking out of personnel committee meetings and weeping in my car on the way home.  The best I can recall, that is when my prayers to understand unity became fervent and even desperate.  I literally begged God to show me the kind of unity the Bible talks about.

And He did.

He began to pour into me a new understanding of scripture and an ever-increasing vision of what unity in His church could look like.  And with that vision, I stepped into the ministry that has become Christian Unity Ministries, through which God has given me opportunities to share that vision with churches and denominational entities all over the world.  I would call that an answered prayer, wouldn’t you?

For me, “abiding in Christ” has very much included having power in prayer, and “…full possession of what I have been shown in the Word.”  As far as I am concerned, Andrew could not be more right about this!

© Blake Coffee

Permissions: You are permitted and encouraged to reproduce and distribute this material in any format provided that you do not alter the wording in any way and do not charge a fee beyond the cost of reproduction. For web posting, a link to this document on this website is preferred. Any exceptions to the above must be approved by Blake Coffee.

Please include the following statement on any distributed copy: © Blake Coffee. Website: churchwhisperer.com

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *