The Glory of God – The Chief End of Prayer

I am up to Lesson 20 in With Christ in the School of Prayer.  Today’s lesson was challenging as I was reminded that the chief end of prayer is the glory of God.  Dr. Murray writes:

“That the Father may be glorified in the Son.  It is to this end that Jesus on His throne in glory will do all we ask in His Name. Every answer to prayer He gives will have this as its object: when there is no prospect of this object being obtained, He will not answer.”

Dr. Murray explains how the entire life of Jesus was about giving glory to the Father.  Now that Jesus is in Heaven, he still glorifies the Father.  When we pray in Jesus Name, the Father’s glory must be our chief objective in prayer, too.  All too often, self-interest and self-will are our true motivations in prayer.  As Dr. Murray says, “If we cannot see that this is the case, have we not to acknowledge that the distinct, conscious longing for the glory of the Father is not what animates our prayers? And yet it must be so.”

“What a humbling thought that so often there is earnest prayer for a child or a friend, for a work or a circle, in which the thought of our joy or pleasure was far stronger than any yearning for God’s glory. No wonder there are so many unanswered prayers: here we have the secret.  God would not be glorified when that glory was not our object.  He that would pray the prayer of faith, will have to give himself to live literally so that the Father in all things may be glorified in him……The surrender to God to seek His glory, and the expectation that He will show His glory in hearing us, are one at root: He that seeks God’s glory will see it in the answer to his prayer, and he alone.”

“And how, we ask again, shall we attain it?  Let us begin with confession. How little has the glory of God been an all-absorbing passion; how little our lives and our prayers have been full of it.  How little we have lived in the likeness of the Son, and in sympathy with Him – for God and His glory alone.  Let us take time, until the Holy Spirit discover it to us, and we see how wanting we have been in this.  True knowledge and confession of sin are the sure path to deliverance.”

As we pray for missions, for our churches, for personal needs, for healing, for the salvation of the lost, let us not only pray that God’s Kingdom will come and His will be done, but let us pray that in our lives, in answered prayer, He will be glorified.  The Week of Prayer for International Missions is a clarion call to pray for God to be made known and glorified in all the earth.   May we be the expression of  “His Heart, His Hands, His Voice” to a lost world.

You can read With Christ in the School of Prayer online at:

Thank you, WMU Volunteers!

Today we hosted our annual WMU Volunteer Luncheon to say thank you to the volunteers who help in our office.  If you have ever received a Lottie Moon Christmas Offering envelope, Week of Prayer guide, or other mailing from our office, you have benefitted from the work of WMU volunteers.

Amanda-Grace Richey joined our staff a year ago when Glenda Triplett retired.  Glenda trained Amanda-Grace well in preparing mailings and in working with our volunteers.  Today Glenda and her husband, Gary, were among our volunteers who were honored at the luncheon.  Glenda was most proud of Amanda-Grace and the job she has done this year.

Amanda-Grace planned today’s luncheon, including the program.  She enlisted her sister, Rebecca-Faith, an accomplished violinist, and her mom, Kristie, accompanying on the piano, to provide beautiful music as we ate lunch.  Amanda-Grace had written three skits that were performed by our staff and showed a side of them that most people never see.  Through humor and laughter, Amanda-Grace conveyed how much we appreciate our volunteers.

The program concluded with Amanda-Grace accompanying herself on the guitar as she sang a Kentucky WMU Volunteers version of the Ray Boltz song, “Thank You.”  Here are her words:

I went into the workroom And you were there with me;
It was filled with boxes Far as the eye could see.
I turned to tell you, “Thank you! Your help me out so much!”
When a young woman ran into the room – One of the many lives you touched.
She said, “My GA leader got a poster in a packet you had sent.”
It was for Missions Camp and that summer we went.
There I first accepted Jesus, And I heard a missions call.
Because you mailed those posters, I’m sharing in Nepal!”

Thank you, volunteers of WMU.
I am a life that was changed.
Thank you, volunteers of WMU.
I am so glad you came.

Then a man said, “There is this little church One Sunday, we were there.
My wife found a prayer guide That you had packed with care.
The stories moved us so deeply; We gave what we could give.
Because you filled that order We’re living how we’re meant to live!”

Thank you, volunteers of WMU.
I am a life that was changed.
Thank you, volunteers of WMU.
I am so glad you came.

And the people just kept coming With stories for you to hear.
Each life somehow touched By the work that you do here.
Through wind and rain and weather Our mailings must go through;
In my short time here I’ve leared That they wouldn’t without you!

It’s not enough, no matter how we try To express our gratitude
For all the lives you’ve touched And all the things you do.
But someday in heaven,
When you stand before the Lord.
He’ll say, “Child, look around you.
Great is your reward.”

Thank you, volunteers of WMU.
I am a life that was changed.
Thank you, volunteers of WMU.
I am so glad you came.
I am so glad you came.

We are so glad that WMU volunteers come to our office to fill orders, pack mailings, and do other needed tasks.  As our Office Assistant/Data Specialist, Amanda-Grace is grateful for the help, but the gratitude goes much farther as she sang today.  Happy Thanksgiving!

With Christ in the School of Prayer – A Classic Rediscovered

The devotional readings this month in Missions Mosaic are a walk through Baptist history.  As a result, I’ve taken time to review some of the classics on the shelves at Kentucky WMU.  Among those are a first edition copy of With Christ in the School of Prayer by Andrew Murray.  Published in 1895, the teachings on prayer are as fresh today as when first penned by Murray, a South African pastor of Scottish descent who was born as a missionary kid in South Africa.  Later educated in Scotland, Murray returned to South Africa where he was married and pastored churches. He was a champion of the South African Revival of 1860.

With Christ in the School of Prayer includes 31 lessons drawn from Jesus’ teachings on prayer.  I share some quotes that have challenged me and encourage you to get a copy for personal study and reflection.  While best read in a month, reading one lesson a day and truly studying and reflecting on the lesson, you may find yourself reading as I have, not being able to stop. 

 Lesson 1 – Lord, teach us to pray.  “It is Jesus, praying Himself, who teaches to pray. He knows what prayer is. He learned it amid the trials and tears of His earthly life. In heaven it is still His beloved work: His life there is prayer. Nothing delights Him more than to find those whom He can take with Him into the Father’s presence, whom He can clothe with power to pray down God’s blessing on those around them, whom He can train to be His fellow-workers in the intercession by which the kingdom is to be revealed on earth. He knows how to teach.”

Lesson 2: In Spirit and in Truth.  “Among Christians one still finds the three classes of worshippers. Some who in their ignorance hardly know what they ask: they pray earnestly, and yet receive but little. Others there are, who have more correct knowledge, who try to pray with all their mind and heart, and often pray most earnestly, and yet do not attain to the full blessedness of worship in spirit and truth. It is into this third class we must ask our Lord Jesus to take us; we must be taught of Him how to worship in spirit and truth. This alone is spiritual worship; this makes us worshippers such as the Father seeks. In prayer everything will depend on our understanding well and practising the worship in spirit and truth.”

Lesson 3 – Pray to thy Father, Which is in Secret.  “And the first thing the Lord teaches His disciples is that they must have a secret place for prayer; every one must have some solitary spot where he can be alone with his God. Every teacher must have a schoolroom. We have learnt to know and accept Jesus as our only teacher in the school of prayer. He has already taught us at Samaria that worship is no longer confined to times and places; that worship, spiritual true worship, is a thing of the spirit and the life; the whole man must in his whole life be worship in spirit and truth. And yet He wants each one to choose for himself the fixed spot where He can daily meet him. That inner chamber, that solitary place, is Jesus’ schoolroom. That spot may be anywhere; that spot may change from day to day if we have to change our abode; but that secret place there must be, with the quiet time in which the pupil places himself in the Master’s presence, to be by Him prepared to worship the Father. There alone, but there most surely, Jesus comes to us to teach us to pray.”

And so the lessons go, each one examining a teaching of Jesus on prayer, followed by a prayer to learn this lesson and apply it.  Because the work is now public domain, it is available in Christian bookstores as well as on line.  An on line version may be found at:

I was talking with Pat Reaves, former Kentucky WMU president, about With Christ in the School of Prayer.  She is in a group that is studying The Ministry of Intercession, also  by Andrew Murray.  Her reaction was the same as mine – this could have been written last week, and yet it was written over 100 years ago.

Rediscover these classics on prayer.  You will concur with Andrew Murray in his introduction to With Christ in the School of Prayer that “It is under a deep impression that the place and power of prayer in the Christian life is too little understood, that this book has been written. I feel sure that as long as we look on prayer chiefly as the means of maintaining our own Christian life, we shall not know fully what it is meant to be. But when we learn to regard it as the highest part of the work entrusted to us, the root and strength of all other work, we shall see that there is nothing that we so need to study and practise as the art of praying aright. If teaching of our Lord in regard to prayer, and the distinct reference the wonderful promises of the last night (John xiv. 16) have to the works we are to do in His Name, to the greater works, and to the bearing much fruit, we shall all admit that it is only when the Church gives herself up to this holy work of intercession that we can expect the power of Christ to manifest itself in her behalf. It is my prayer that God may use this little book to make clearer to some of His children the wonderful place of power and influence which He is waiting for them to occupy, and for which a weary world is waiting too.”

Saving Lottie

Jon Auten, Kentucky WMU Missions Consultant for Royal Ambassadors, shared this great story about a Louisville GA leader who took an unexpected stand for missions and the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering.  Enjoy!

Christmas is fast approaching and missions leaders across the Southern Baptist Convention are demonstrating their support for international missions through their efforts to meet the 2011 Lottie Moon Christmas Offering Goal of $175 million.  Few, if any, however, have gone to the lengths that Vicky Simpson, GA leader from Poplar Level Baptist Church in Louisville, KY, did on Tuesday, November 8.

It was Election Day and Vicky and her husband Roger had gone to the polls to place their votes.  When they returned home, they found an unknown vehicle parked and running in their driveway.  Roger pulled up behind it and went through the garage and into the house to investigate while Vicky remained outside by the car. 

Roger quickly learned that their house had been broken into.  What he didn’t realize was that the thief was still in the house when they arrived home.  Hearing the activation of the garage door, the sneaky burglar decided to slip out by way of the sliding glass door that he had broken and return to his car by walking around the other end of the house.  As he went, he took along the large plastic bucket of change that the GA’s and RA’s of Poplar Level had been collecting for Lottie Moon since May.

Vicky spotted the crook as he came around the house and into the front yard.  As he casually walked across the lawn, she noticed the bucket of change.  She immediately recognized it as “our bucket of money” and thought, “He can’t take that.  That’s for Lottie Moon!”

“Put the money down!” she shouted at the thief.

“No,” he responded, as he proceeded to open the door to the car.

“Put that money down!” Vicky replied, louder than the first time. 

Roger, hearing his wife shouting, rushed outside just in time to see that the robber had given way before Vicky’s determination, placed the money on the ground, and made his get-away driving through the couple’s front yard.

The story, which could have had a terrible ending, has a happy one instead.  Not only was the Lottie Moon Offering rescued, but the burglar was apprehended after Roger reported the incident and the car’s license plate number to the police.  Several other possessions, which had already been placed in the thief’s car, were returned to the Simpson’s as well. 

Later that day, Vicky and her husband decided to go on and process the money through a coin counting machine where they discovered that the bucket held over 200 dollars in change. She would later tell a friend, “I am not a brave person, but the GA’s and RA’s had worked so hard to raise the money. I couldn’t let it be taken away.” 

Royal Ambassadors

Each Monday, the Kentucky WMU staff has a Monday morning staff meeting.  We always begin with prayer for our missionaries on the Prayer Calendar in Missions Mosaic. The Prayer Calendar devotional readings this month are the stories of missions heroes, people who gave their all to follow Christ and fulfill the Great Commission.  This week we’ve been reading about William Carey and the perseverance that it took for the gospel to take root in Burma.  I am thankful for the missions leaders who have gone before us and the legacy of their lives.  Since it is my month to lead our prayer time, I shared some Kentucky WMU missions history this past Monday.

Kentucky WMU has been an integral part of the development of Woman’s Missionary Union from the earliest days. In sharing some things of note with the staff I went back to an early national WMU history called Following In His Train by Ethlene Boone Cox.  Her account is copyright 1938.  No doubt from her account the importance of Kentucky WMU leaders and the legacy they left, including Eliza Broadus.

Since responsibility for Royal Ambassadors has returned to WMU, I was very interested in the account of the start of Royal Ambassadors and what Mrs. Cox had to say about the importance of teaching boys.  To appreciate the following quote, it is helpful to know that in missions history, William Carey’s son, Felix, was appointed as an ambassador to the governor-general of Calcutta by the King of Burma.

When William Carey’s son was made an ambassador, Carey wrote “Felis is shriveled from a missionary into an ambassador.”  It is the desire of WMU in its missionary educational program to make the young Royal Ambassadors into missionaries at home and in every land. They do not shrivel into these royalties, but begin with their royalties and grow to be missionaries of the kingdom of God.  Neglect of specific missionary instruction and vision does not suddenly develop missionary church leaders, missionary deacons, finance committees, workers, nor tithersMissions interest is most often the result of consistent, systematic education, heroic ideals obtained through mission history and biographies, and through inspiration of personal leadershipThrough these means each generation may pass on to the next the truths that have served the present age, and every age.  The purpose of the plans for young people is to challenge the wealth of youth for Christ and for his redemptive work.  The wealth of youth is life, time, talents, influence, possessions, personality.

This may have been written many years ago, but still rings true.  Jonathan Auten, the new Kentucky WMU consultant for Royal Ambassadors shares this passion for passing on the missions challenge to the boys of this generation.  Jon will share his some of story and vision during the WMU report at the Kentucky Baptist Convention on Tuesday, November 15.   The meeting starts at 8:30 a.m. at Florence Baptist Church.  The WMU report will be at 2:05 p.m.  Information about the meeting and driving directions may be found at

We cannot neglect teaching missions to our children and expect them to grow up caring about a lost world.  What is your church doing to develop missionary church leaders?  Stop by the WMU booth at the Kentucky Baptist Convention.  We would like to show you some great resources for teaching preschoolers, youth and adults. Come meet Jon and learn how the Royal Ambassadors ministry can help you mentor boys in your community.

In this month of giving thanks for the missions legacy of Southern Baptists, the history lesson we must capture is that when missions education is strong in a church, that church develops misssions minded leaders, deacons, workers, and tithers.    Do you want more of these in your church?  Start or strengthen missions groups now!