The Sin of Prayerlessness

Andrew MurrayOne of my favorite books on prayer is The Prayer Life, by Andrew Murray. (It is also titled Living a Prayerful Life.) Andrew Murray was a pastor in the Dutch Reformed Church in South Africa in the 1800’s/early 1900’s. He was part of the South African Revival of 1860. He also wrote more than 240 books, a number of which focused on prayer.

The Prayer Life was birthed out of a conference that took place in April 1912. At the time there was a sense that the church was generally lacking in spiritual power and effectiveness, and so over two hundred ministers, missionaries and theological students gathered in South Africa to study the problem and discuss it together. Murray writes in the foreword of his book:

“The Lord graciously so ordered it that we were gradually led to the sin of prayerlessness as the deepest roots of the evil. No one could plead himself free from this. Nothing so reveals the defective spiritual life in minister and congregation as the lack of believing and unceasing prayer. Prayer is in very deed the pulse of the spiritual life. It is the great means of bringing to minister and people the blessing and power of heaven. Persevering and believing prayer means a strong and abundant life.” (Andrew Murray; The Prayer Life, p. 8 )

After the conference Murray wrote The Prayer Life, both as a reminder of the things they had learned and as a way of sharing these things with others.

The first chapter focuses on the sin of prayerlessness, and I will be sharing with you some excerpts over the next several days. In the remainder of the book, Murray gives helpful instruction on overcoming the sin of prayerlessness and developing your prayer life with God. The Lord used this book to help form my prayer life as a young Christian, and though my prayer life is far short of what I wish it would be, I am grateful for the truths I learned from this book in those early years.

Here are the posts that will form the rest of the series. I will update the links on this page as each post is published. I invite you to follow along and share your thoughts and comments along the way. (If you are new here, be sure to subscribe by email or feed reader so that you don’t miss any future posts.)

The Sin of Prayerlessness:
    Introduction and Links to the Series
    1. Prayerlessness and God
    2. Prayerlessness and the Spiritual Life
    3. Prayerlessness and the Minister
    4. Prayerlessness and the Gospel
    5. A Witness from America
    6. The Cause of Prayerlessness
    7. The Storm Center on the Battlefield


  1. Sharon Gamble says:

    I am really looking forward to this series!!

  2. Donna says:

    Hello Ray, we just finished this book over the summer at the ladies study, it was over all one of the best books we have studied,,it was written a long time ago, but still very important to our life now. We had 29 women buy the book, almost 20 came every week. It has really helped in my quiet time and prayer time.
    I would like to purchase your Bible Memory Version, but i am unfamiliar with the way you are offering it, I do not have a Kindle (how ever I am saving my pennies, and hope to get one soon !!)

  3. Ray Fowler says:

    Donna – I’m glad you all enjoyed the book. It is a great study on prayer.

    As far as The Bible Memory Version, you don’t need an actual Kindle to read it. You can download the Kindle for PC application for your computer for free. It opens right on your computer and is very easy to use. (It will also allow you to buy other Kindle books from Amazon without having to purchase a Kindle.) Here is the link: Kindle for PC.

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