‘If you try to pray without ceasing because you want to be very pious and good, you will never succeed,’ warns Andrew Murray. There is only one way to a life of unceasing prayer, and it is not found in us, but in Jesus. ‘Christ makes us partakers with Him of His prayer-power and His prayer-life.’ And so it is Jesus who is ‘responsible for our praying without ceasing.’
Murray comes to prayer without ceasing in the last chapter of his classic With Christ in the School of Prayer. There he tells us that in this school:
Christ teaches us to pray by showing us how He does it, by doing it in us, and by leading us to do it in Him and like Him. Christ is everything – the life and the strength – for a never-ceasing prayer life. Seeing Christ’s continuous praying as our life enables us to pray without ceasing.
It is only because Christ’s life is now our life that ‘praying without ceasing can become the joy of heaven here on earth,’ for ‘never-ceasing prayer is the manifestation of the power of the eternal life where Jesus always prays.’
Prayer without ceasing depends entirely upon our union with Christ, and ‘in union with Him’ ceaseless prayer can become ‘a reality, the holiest and most blessed part of our holy and blessed fellowship with God.’
What is a life of ceaseless prayer? Murray writes that it’s a life where ‘the inmost life of the soul is continually rising upward in dependence, faith, longing desire, and trustful expectation.’
You can read the previous posts in this series here:
- Part 1 - Praying Always: A Pentecostal Perspective
- Part 2 - Praying Always: D.P. Williams on Communion with God in the Life of Prayer
Next time we'll see what Martin Luther had to say.