Meet Andrew Murray
One of four children born to Pastor Andrew, Sr., and Maria Murray, Andrew Murray was raised in what was considered to be the most remote corner of the world—Graaff-Reinet, South Africa. Educated in Scotland and Holland, in 1848 Andrew, Jr., returned to South Africa as a missionary and minister with the Dutch Reformed Church. His first appointment was to Bloemfontein, a territory of nearly 50,000 square miles and 12,000 people.
Andrew and his brother John had been in close contact with a revival movement in Scotland, an evangelical extension of the ongoing Second Great Awakening in America. He prayed for the same sort of awakening for the church in South Africa and wrote, "My prayer is for revival, but I am held back by the increasing sense of my own unfitness for the work. I lament the awful pride and self-complacency that have till now ruled my heart. O that I may be more and more a minister of the Spirit." (J. du Plessis, The Life of Andrew Murray)
In 1860, revival did come to the churches of Cape Town, South Africa, and subsequently spread to surrounding towns and villages. Even remote farms and plantations felt the impact, and lives were changed. Where once the churches had not been able to find one man ready to be a leader for God, the revival raised up 50 in Murray’s Cape Town parish alone. Records show that there were more conversions in one month in that particular parish than in the whole course of its previous history. (Leona Choy, Andrew Murray: Apostle of Abiding Love)
Greatly concerned for the spiritual guidance of new converts and renewed Christians, Andrew Murray wrote over 240 books. Among those books are some of the most enduring classics of Christian literature: The Deeper Christian Life; God’s Will, Our Dwelling Place; The Ministry of Intercession; Absolute Surrender; and With Christ in the School of Prayer. His writings reflect his own longing for a deeper life in Christ and his prayer that others would long for and experience that life as well. He writes in Absolute Surrender, "The condition of God’s blessing is absolute surrender of all into His hands. If our hearts are willing for that, there is no end to what God will do for us, and to the blessings God will bestow."
Andrew Murray and his wife, Emma, had nine children, and their home was an endless stream of activity. He learned early on that laughter and the fellowship of friends and family were two of life’s richest blessings. And yet he often prayed for that ultimate Friendship, "May not a single moment of my life be spent outside the light, love, and joy of God’s presence."