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Andrew Murray wrote about the Model Prayer in Lesson Four. What struck me most profoundly were these words: While we ordinarily first bring our own needs to God in prayer, and then think of what belongs to God and His interests, the Master reverses the order. First, Thy name, Thy kingdom, Thy will; then, give us, forgive us, lead us, deliver us. The lesson is of more importance than we think. In true worship the Father must be first, must be all. The sooner I learn to forget myself in the desire that HE my be glorified, the richer will the blessing be that prayer will bring to myself. No one ever loses by what he sacrifices for the Father.

The continuing emphasis of the book is that we must re-focus our praying. We need to move the focus off of ourselves, our lives and our needs and set the focus on God and His glory. I believe that prayer is a sadly neglected part of the Christian life, of our teaching in church and of our doctrine and theology. I believe that we fear moving toward a “name it, claim it” theology or an experience based Christianity that neglects the Word as our sole authority. We see many examples of this all around us. However, what Murray taught and what all God-centered theology teaches is that true prayer begins with God. The faith to pray comes from Him and the knowledge of His will for which to pray comes from His Word. As we will see in the next lesson, Murray saw prayer not as the place that we change God’s mind but as the place where He changes us.

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