Bits Of E.M. Bounds

Edward McKendree Bounds (1835-1913) was a man of devout, passionate prayer. As a young man, he apprenticed as an attorney, becoming his state’s youngest practicing lawyer at the age of nineteen. Sensing the call to the ministry in his early twenties, during the Third Great Awakening, he attended seminary and was ordained at age twenty-four. Prayer is the lifeblood of every believer; it is our pathway into the presence of the Father, and yet many times we do not realize its importance in our Christian walk. We often pray perfunctorily, as if it is just one more thing to cross off our “list” of Christian obligations. The quotes below will not allow us to perceive prayer in that way any longer.

“Our praying needs to be pressed and pursued with an energy that never tires, a persistency which will not be denied, and a courage which never fails.”

“Non-praying is lawless, discord, anarchy.  The whole force of Bible statement is to increase our faith in the doctrine that prayer effects God, secures favor from God, which can be secured in no other way, and which will not be bestowed if we do not pray.”

“What the Church needs today is not more or better machinery, not new organizations or more and novel methods.  She needs men whom the Holy Spirit can use — men of prayer, men mighty in prayer.  The Holy Spirit does not flow through methods, but through men.  He does not come on machinery, but on men.  He does not anoint plans, but men — men of prayer!”

“The heart which is lax in seeking God in the morning has lost its relish for God.”

“Faith, and hope, and patience and all the strong, beautiful, vital forces of piety are withered and dead in a prayerless life. The life of the individual believer, his personal salvation, and personal Christian graces have their being, bloom, and fruitage in prayer.”

“The goal of prayer is the ear of God, a goal that can only be reached by patient and continued and continuous waiting upon Him, pouring out our heart to Him and permitting Him to speak to us. Only by so doing can we expect to know Him, and as we come to know Him better we shall spend more time in His presence and find that presence a constant and ever-increasing delight.”

“Prayer honors God, acknowledges His being, exalts His power, adores His providence, secures His aid.”

“Natural ability and educational advantages do not figure as factors in this matter of prayer; but a capacity for faith, the power of a thorough consecration, the ability of self-littleness, an absolute losing of one’s self in God’s glory and an ever present and insatiable
yearning and seeking after all the fullness of God.”

“Other duties become pressing and absorbing and crowd our prayer. “Choked to death” would be the coroner’s verdict in many cases of dead praying if an inquest could be secured on this dire, spiritual calamity.”

“Trouble and prayer are closely related. . . . Trouble often drives men to God in prayer, while prayer is but the voice of men in trouble.”

“Praying which does not result in pure conduct is a delusion. We have missed the whole office and virtue of praying if it does not rectify conduct. It is in the very nature of things that we must quit praying, or quit bad conduct.”

“There is neither encouragement nor room in Bible religion for feeble desires, listless efforts, lazy attitudes; all must be strenuous, urgent, ardent. Flamed desires, impassioned, unwearied insistence delight heaven. God would have His children incorrigibly in earnest
and persistently bold in their efforts. Heaven is too busy to listen to half-hearted prayers or to respond to pop-calls. Our whole being must be in our praying.”

“To say prayers in a decent, delicate way is not heavy work. But to pray really, to pray till hell feels the ponderous stroke, to pray till the iron gates of difficulty are opened, till the
mountains of obstacles are removed, till the mists are exhaled and the clouds are lifted, and the sunshine of a cloudless day brightens-this is hard work, but it is God’s work, and man’s best labor.”

“Jesus taught that perseverance is the essential element of prayer. Men must be in earnest when they kneel at God’s footstool. Too often we get faint-hearted and quit praying at the point where we ought to begin. We let go at the very point where we should hold on strongest. Our prayers are weak because they are not impassioned by an unfailing and resistless will.”

“I think Christians fail so often to get answers to their prayers because they do not wait long enough on God. They just drop down and say a few words, and then jump up and forget it and expect God to answer them. Such praying always reminds me of the small boy
ringing his neighbor’s door-bell, and then running away as fast as he can go.”

“All God’s plans have the mark of the cross on them, and all His plans have death to self in them. . . But men’s plans ignore the offence of the cross or despise it. Men’s plans have no profound, stern or self-immolating denial in them. Their gain is of the world.”

“The prayers of God’s saints strengthen the unborn generation against the desolating waves of sin and evil.”

Original Content: Copyright © 2011 by Susan E. Johnson
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