On Friday Muhammad Ali died at the age of 74.
Billy Graham is now 97 years old.
What connects these two opening sentences? For one thing, each man is probably the best known person of their respective faiths. Billy Graham has been the most famous Christian for all of my lifetime. Likewise Muhammad Ali has long been the most famous adherent of Islam.
But another connection exists. It is one that I was able to facilitate. Here’s my story.
Here is a shocking reality: the Prodigal Son is not merely a picture of the worst of sinners; he is a symbol of every redeemed sinner–alienated from God and without a hope in the world. He is a precise and living effigy of the entire human race–fallen, sinful, and rebellious.
–John MacArthur, A Tale of Two Sons.
Normally when we think of somebody as a prodigal son or daughter, we think of somebody like me. I had previously enjoyed the delights in the Father’s house, but then went astray. I knew better, but still took the path that led from the Father and into a far country. There I indulged my evil passions in riotous living.
Prayer ceased to be thought of primarily as worship and became rather the best means for the fulfillment of human need.
–Iain Murray, Revival & Revivalism
This quote from Iain Murray describes a shift in American Christian thought in the 19th century as it related to the subject of prayer and the working of God.