Cheung Vincent – Prayer and Revelation is frank study on prayer, talking about the how to pray and reasoning behind prayer.
In his book, With Christ in the School of Prayer, Andrew Murray writes, “Reading a book about prayer, listening to lectures and talking about it is very good, but it won’t teach you to pray. You get nothing without exercise, without practice.”1 This is a most foolish thing to say. If reading, listening, and talking about prayer “won’t teach you to pray,” then how are these activities “very good”? If I get “nothing” without practice, then why should I read his book?
His book is supposed to contain insights about prayer drawn from the instructions and examples of Jesus.2 But the statement quoted implies that “practice” or experience is a superior teacher than the very words and acts of Christ. The horror of the situation dawns on us when we realize that it seems most people share Murray’s view about learning spiritual things.3 They say that you can read about it and talk about it, but experience is the best teacher. However, if experience is the best teacher, then Jesus is not the best teacher, and Scripture is not the best source of information. This is blasphemous.
The truth is that experience is the worst teacher, especially when it comes to learning spiritual things.4 Our culture exalts learning by experience, and many Christians assume such a view even though it contradicts their professed allegiance to God and Scripture. Against this popular view, I urge that we must dethrone experience and exalt revelation, that is, the words of Scripture. This means that reading a book can really teach you a lot about prayer,5 and since I would like to show you some of the things that Scripture teaches about the subject, it makes sense that I have written this book.6