Saturday, November 12, 2005

power through prayer

Last night we were talking about an upcoming prayer vision trip, and I pulled Power Through Prayer (E.M.Bounds) off the shelf. Reading it again (I bought it in 1979), I remembered how Bounds focuses on preachers, to whom the book seems addressed. The principles, though, apply to any kind of ministry: encouragement, friendship, service. Here's a favorite quote. Page numbers refer to the Moody Press paperback edition, 1979:
Preaching that kills is prayerless preaching. Without prayer, the preacher creates death and not life.... Life-creating preaching brings the mightiest force to bear on heaven and earth and draws on God's exhaustless and open treasure for the need and beggary of man. (27-29)
For "preaching" above, read "encouragement", "hospitality", etc.
Talking to men for God is a great thing, but talking to God for men is greater still. He who has not learned well how to talk to God for men will never talk well and with real success to men for God. (37)
Finally, are you (or I) man enough to pray?
Praying is spiritual work; and human nature does not like taxing, spiritual work. Human nature wants to sail to heaven under a favoring breeze, a full, smooth sea. Prayer is humbling work. It abases intellect and pride, crucifies vainglory, and signs our spiritual bankruptcy, and all these are hard for flesh and blood to bear. It is easier not to pray than to bear them.

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