Andrew Murray was a gifted 19th century Dutch Reformed pastor who was born in South Africa in 1828. After receiving his education in Scotland and Holland, he returned to South Africa where he spent many years pastoring, teaching, and writing. He was a staunch advocate for Biblical Christianity. He is best known for his book, With Christ in the School of Prayer. The following are excerpts from his classic, Waiting on God:
Quietness and Faith
Take heed and be quiet; fear not, neither be faint-hearted. In quietness and confidence shall be your strength. Such words reveal to us the close connection between quietness and faith. They show us what a deep need there is of quietness, as an element of true waiting upon God. If we are to have our whole heart turned toward God, we must have it turned away from man, from all that occupies and interests, whether joy or sorrow. The message is one of deep meaning–take heed and be quiet.
An Unspeakable Blessedness
As long as the waiting on God is chiefly regarded as an end towards more effectual prayer, and the obtaining of our petitions, this spirit of perfect quietness will not be obtained. But when it is seen that waiting on God is, in itself, an unspeakable blessedness–one of the highest forms of fellowship with the Holy One–the adoration of Him in His glory will of necessity humble the soul into holy stillness, making way for God to speak and reveal Himself. Then it comes to the fulfillment of the precious promise that all of self and self-effort will be humbled. “The haughtiness of man shall be brought down, and the Lord alone shall be exalted in that day.”
It will come–though at first it may appear difficult to know how thus quietly to wait, with the activities of the mind and heart for a time subdued, every effort after it will be rewarded. We will discover that it grows upon us and the little season of silent worship will bring a peace and a rest that give a blessing not only in prayer, but all day!
It is good–it is good that a man should…quietly wait for the salvation of the Lord! Yes, it is good!! It will not be done with our willing and running, with all our thinking and praying. It is the confession of our desire to sink into our nothingness, and to let Him work and reveal Himself. Do let us wait quietly. In daily life, let there be in the soul that is waiting for the great God to do His wondrous work, a quiet reverence and an abiding watching against too deep of an engrossment with the world. Then, the whole character will come to bear the beautiful stamp: quietly waiting for the salvation of God!
A Simple Prayer of Application
Father, lead me into these forgotten ways. Silence the inner raging of voices contending for my attention. Quiet my soul that I might know you and your precious Son Jesus. Holy Spirit, take your liberty to write these laws in my heart. Lord, I want to know you. Teach me for your Kingdom’s sake. Amen!
A Tool for Greater Communion with God – Quietness
The Combative Lessons on Quieting Our Soul
Mark Virkler is a pastor-teacher based in Buffalo, New York. Mark has written 30 study manuals in the areas of Bible survey and spiritual communion and growth. The following thoughts are contained in his powerful book, Communion with God:
Principles of Communion
If we are going to commune with God, first we must become still. Habakkuk went to his guard post to pray (Habakkuk 2:1). In the early morning when it was still dark, Jesus departed to a lonely place to pray (Mark 1:35). And after a day’s ministry, Jesus went to a mountain to pray.
In order for our inner man to commune with God, we must first remove external distractions. We must find a place where we can be alone and undisturbed so that we can center down into our hearts without being distracted by our external circumstances.
Second, we must learn to quiet our inner being, all the voices and thoughts within us that are calling for our attention. Until they are quieted, we most likely will not hear His voice.
Becoming still cannot be hurried or forced. Rather, it must be allowed to happen. At a point in your stillness, God takes over and you sense His active flow within you. His spontaneous images begin to flow with a life of their own. His voice speaks, giving you wisdom and strength. You find that you are “in the Spirit” (Revelation 1:10).
Quieting Our Own Inner Being
- Write down thoughts of things to do later Release present tensions and anxieties to the Lord Focus on Jesus In becoming still, I am not trying to do anything. I simply want to be in touch with the Divine Lover. I am centered on this moment of time and experiencing Him in it Removing inner noise (voices, thoughts, pressures)