In 1955, Francis and Edith Schaeffer founded L'Abri Fellowship in Switzerland to demonstrate the reality of God through prayer. God so blessed their work that they began writing their many books in the 1960’s. Because of the wide circulation of Dr. Francis Schaeffer’s books in several foreign languages, many people associate their work only with logical arguments for God’s existence, with honest answers to honest questions, and with good reasons to be a Christian. However, time and again Dr. Schaeffer said that his books did not stand alone: they stood with those of his wife’s.
Edith Schaeffer’s books show the existence of God through answers to prayer and transformed lives. She wrote about the founding of L'Abri and told how they based their work on prayer. They prayed for God to send the people of His choice to them; they prayed for God to send the money they needed without soliciting for funds; they prayed for God to give them His direct leading and plan; and they prayed for God to send the co-workers of His choice. Through daily prayer and God's provision in answer to prayer, they intended to manifest the presence of God to those around them, especially to unbelievers.
With their combined methods of arguing for God's existence and then living everyday on the basis of God's really being there in daily communication, they strived to maintain a careful balance between the intellectual and the devotional life. When we study their books and lives together, we find good and sufficient reasons to bow before Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior. By the grace of God, their total work demonstrates substantially the transforming power of the Word of Truth and the Holy Spirit in leading sinners to the Savior and establishing Christians in faith and obedience.
Time magazine labeled Francis Schaeffer “the missionary to intellectuals.” Because of this stature, his philosophy and theology have often been analyzed or criticized in academic books and journal articles. However, no book has looked closely at the Schaeffers’ prayer principles in the light of their biography and answers to prayer. In some of her books, Edith Schaeffer illustrated their concern to be people of prayer in the normal course of daily living, but their answers to prayer and combined teachings on prayer are scattered in the midst of their discussions on other topics in both their books and tapes. How God Teaches Us To Pray takes thirty-one examples of different types of answered prayer from their lives and works, and shows how God teaches us to pray. Rather than just analyze or criticize their prayer principles, I hope to inspire you to pray daily with greater fervency. I have written with sincere appreciation for their life of prayer, and have not tried to write a critical biography. I have, however, shown many of the difficulties they faced as they prayed for a greater reality of God in their lives.
Francis Schaeffer never wrote a book on prayer, but he did preach on prayer. When we read the letters of Francis Schaeffer beginning in the 1950’s, we see the great importance he placed on prayer and reading devotional books (especially in the young Christian’s life) for spiritual growth and renewal. From Edith Schaeffer’s "letters home from Europe" and later from her “L'Abri Family Letters,” from her books L’Abri and The Tapestry, from her books on various subjects, and through her and Fran’s personal ministry, we have a record of many answers to their prayers and a wealth of information from which to select some of the best examples and applications for this devotional book on prayer.
About L.G. Parkhurst
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Published September 12, 2012
by Agion Press.
Biographies & Memoirs, Religion & Spirituality, Education & Reference.