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“Earnestness in prayer requires a true view of oneself”

Iain Murray writes of “Five Leaders in the Northeast” during the Second Great Awakening:


The secret of the influence of these men was that in their being much with Christ they were indeed the reflectors of ‘his beams’.

But if it be asked how they attained to being such close disciples the answer may be surprising. It was not that they had reached some higher ground in the way of holiness. On the contrary, what marked them most was their low views of themselves. ‘The leading element of Doctor Griffin’s Christian character’, remarked Sprague, ‘was a deep sense of his own corruptions and of his entire dependence on the sovereign grace of God.’ ‘I fear that I am little better than a cumberer of the ground,’ Spring recorded in his diary, and Payson, similarly, often noted the pain of his unworthiness and his failure as a Christian. On 18 December 1817 he recorded in his diary: ‘Began to think, last night, that I have been sleeping all my days; and this morning felt sure of it . . .  How astonishingly blind have I been and how imperceptible my religious progress.’ again, in 1821 he told a ministerial friend, ‘My parish, as well as my heart, very much resembles the garden of the sluggard; and what is worse, if find that most of my desires for the melioration of both proceed either from pride, or vanity of indolence.’

Statements such as these show us the nature of the relationship with God that these men had. Their felt need lay behind their frequent prayer and their dependence on Christ. Earnestness in prayer, says Payson, requires a true view of oneself: ‘You cannot make a rich man beg like a poor man; you cannot make a man that is full cry for food like one that is hungry: no more will a man who has a good opinion of himself cry for mercy like one who feels that he is poor and needy.’

—Iain Murray, Revival & Revivalism (Banner of Truth, 2002), 218–219.

Posted 2007·05·15 by David Kjos
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Posted in: Church History · Iain Murray · Prayer · Revival & Revivalism
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#1 || 07·05·16··05:00 || Even So...

Humility is holiness...

#2 || 07·05·17··08:54 || Daniel

You cannot make a rich man beg like a poor man

That is the truth of it.

I really enjoy posts like this.

#3 || 07·05·18··18:44 || donsands

Excellent. I good friend and brother in Christ of mine prays two hours every morning. He is such a humble man, who thinks lowly of himself as well. He was my pastor for a few years, but has since stepped down from pastoring.
He always likes to go to his closet early and talk with his Father in the morning. And his most fervant prayers are for God's mercy on his family and for anyone who does not know God's mercy, and hasn't come to the Cross.
Roscoe is such a fine example of a man of prayer, and he will never be written in any book. I believe we can be encouraged in this as well.

#4 || 07·05·19··10:24 || halfmom

that I may have, as did Isaiah, a true view of God and fall on my face because it reflects who I am not...

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