Spiritual Growth

How’s your prayer life — powerful or pitiful?

Born in 1853, author, attorney, and member of the Methodist Episcopal Church clergy, E.M. Bounds gives a plethora of wisdom in the area of prayer.  Below is an excerpt from some of his writings, The Treasury of Prayer: The Best of E.M. Bounds.  His work can also be read through a devotional reading plan integrated through the YouVersion Bible app. This post is an example from that app.  It is coupled with these scriptures: Matt.5:3; Phil. 4:6; Heb. 5:7.  If you want to learn how to be a prayer warrior and reach the very heart of God, study the scripture on prayer with Bounds’ work close at hand.  You will find they are a powerful combination and when applied, will transform your prayer life.

The Reality of Prayer

Prayer, in the moral government of God, is as strong and far-reaching as the law of gravitation in the material world, and it is as necessary as gravitation to hold things in their proper atmosphere and in life.

Therefore, we ought to thoroughly understand ourselves and understand also this great business of prayer.

Prayer is not a mere habit, riveted by custom and memory, something which must be gone through with, its value depending upon the decency and perfection of the performance. Prayer is not a duty which must be performed to ease obligation and to quiet conscience.

Prayer is not mere privilege, a sacred indulgence to be taken advantage of, at leisure, at pleasure, at will, and no serious loss attending its omission.

Prayer is a solemn service due to God, an adoration, a worship, an approach to God for some request, the presenting of some desire, the expression of some need to Him, who supplies all need, and who satisfies all desires; who, as a father, finds His greatest pleasure in relieving the wants and granting the desires of His children.

Prayer is the child’s request, not to the winds, nor to the world, but to the Father.

Prayer is the outstretched arms of the child for the Father’s help.

Prayer is the child’s cry calling to the Father’s ear, the Father’s heart, and to the Father’s ability, which the Father is to hear, the Father is to feel, and which the Father is to relieve.

Prayer is the seeking of God’s great and greatest good, which will not come if we do not pray.

Prayer is an ardent and believing cry to God for some specific thing. God’s rule is to answer prayer by giving the specific thing asked for. With it may come much of other gifts and graces.

Strength, serenity, sweetness, and faith may come as the bearers of the gifts. But even they come because God hears and answers prayer.

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