Five years ago I came across teaching on prayer by clergyman, E. M. Bounds, who lived at the turn of last century. I wrote a post on this then, but having come back to Bounds’ teaching again recently, and experiencing God in a similar way through his work, this post is a re-cast. 

Bounds writes about prayer. He speaks about prayer in the life of a preacher, but for me his message is relevant whether in the pulpit, or whichever setting of work God has called us to. Our effectiveness in seeing God’s Kingdom outwork, our effectiveness as vessels of God through which He moves powerfully in the lives of others, is proportionate to our time seeking His face in prayer. Without Him, we can do nothing, Jesus tells us John 15:5. Without the Spirit of God, in my own experience at least, I am blunt, impotent, and honestly, in the way.

This is some of what I have read from Bounds today:

It may be put down as a spiritual axiom that in every truly successful ministry prayer is an evident and controlling force — evident and controlling in the life of the preacher, evident and controlling in the deep spirituality of his work. A ministry may be a very thoughtful ministry without prayer; the preacher may secure fame and popularity without prayer; the whole machinery of the preacher’s life and work may be run without the oil of prayer … but no ministry can be a spiritual one, securing holiness in the preacher and in his people, without prayer being made an evident and controlling force.

…. A prayerful minister has passed beyond the regions of the popular, beyond the man of mere affairs, of secularities, of pulpit attractiveness … into a sublimer and mightier region, the region of the spiritual. Holiness is the product of his work; transfigured hearts and lives emblazon the reality of his work, its trueness and substantial nature. God is with him. His ministry is not projected on worldly or surface principles. He is deeply stored with and deeply schooled in the things of God.

~ E. M. Bounds, Power Through Prayer, Chapter 6 (emphasis in the quote is mine)

That our lives may be grounded in intimate encounter with God through prayer, and permeated through with the power of His Spirit.


~ by Birgit on September 28, 2012.

6 Responses to “Prayer”

  1. Thank you Birgit, we need to hear this daily. It reminds me of the bible scipture that recommends us praying and seeking God in privacy, behind closed doors; not for the world to see which so easily become the focus in ministry. Love you my friend!

  2. Hey girl!! I have been thinking of you. I always think of you when lady friends & I talk about the occult, spiritual battles, and His LIGHT!! shining into the darkness (and also during halloween time in particular). How are you!?!? :) I miss chatting with you online through blog/email. What is God doing in your life? This post was a great fit into what God has been working on me… and that is 2 separate statements a) God doesn’t have favorites, but He does have intimates that allow Him time & space to teach and love us! and b) The more space you give Jesus in your life – the more people will be able to see Him in you!! We must spend time with Him — all day long including Him in our thoughts… AND special carved out time in quiet with just Him & me!! :)

    God bless you girl!! :)

  3. Thank you both, Desire and Randi :), for your replies and your thoughts here on prayer, which I’ve so enjoyed.
    Randi, it’s really lovely to hear from you, and I’ll follow up with an email to catch up a bit more :) Lots of blessings to you both.

  4. Bounds words are good. Thought-provoking. But, what you said here:

    Without Him, we can do nothing, Jesus tells us John 15:5. Without the Spirit of God, in my own experience at least, I am blunt, impotent, and honestly, in the way.

    Wow. I’ve wondered why, recently, my words seem to bounce off my kids ears… I need to wait for His nudge before speaking. Thank you.

  5. So lovely to see you Michelle :) Thanks for your thoughts here on waiting on His leading in situations.
    It’s something I’m hoping to grow in, I would so love to see the possibilities of being really attune to Him in this way day to day :) Love B ox

  6. I appreciate Michelle’s comment of how she applied this post to her parenting. I could definitely agree with that. Many times, I find myself whining saying why aren’t they getting it? Why aren’t they more loving? What am I doing wrong? I have to believe it’s that I’m spending more time DOING less time PRAYING. I need to pray more!!! I am feeling this conviction everywhere I turn, in everything I read! <3


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