Sometimes I read a book I want to put down because it convicts me, but I can’t stop reading because I know I need it. E.M. Bounds’ Pastor and Prayer*is one of those books. Here are some highlights that challenge me every time I read it:
- “The church is looking for better methods; God is looking for better men. . . . What the church needs today is not more and better machinery, not new organizations or more innovative methods, but men whom the Holy Spirit can use – men of prayer, men mighty in prayer.” (pp. 2-3)
- “Much of the lax devotion and lazy, irreverent attitudes in congregational praying originate with professional praying in the pulpit. Long, rambling, dry, and hollow are the prayers in many pulpits. Without anointing or heart, they fall like a killing frost on all the graces of worship. Death-dealing prayers they are.” (pp. 18-20)
- “The character of our praying will determine the character of our preaching. Light praying will make light preaching. Prayer makes preaching strong, anoints it, and makes it stick.” (p. 25)
- “The little value we put on prayer is evident from the little time we give to it.” (p. 30)
- “The men who have done the most for God in this world have been on their knees early in the day. He who fritters away the early morning, its opportunity, and its freshness in other pursuits than seeking God will make poor headway seeking him the rest of the day.” (pp. 51-52)
- “We can learn more in an hour of prayer, when praying indeed, than from many hours in the study.” (p. 76)
- “Prayer, much prayer, is the price of anointed preaching; prayer, much prayer, is the one condition of keeping this blessing. Without unceasing prayer, the anointing never comes to the preacher.” (p. 92)
- “As far as the real interests of religion are concerned, a pulpit without a prayer closet will always be a barren thing.” (p. 96)
- “Air is not more necessary to the lungs than prayer is to the preacher. It is absolutely necessary for the preacher to pray, and it is an absolute necessity that the preacher be prayed for.” (p. 100)
- “No one but praying leaders can have praying followers. Praying apostles will beget praying saints. A praying pulpit will beget praying pews.” (p. 112)
Perhaps needless to say, I need to go to my prayer closet and stay there awhile.
* E. M. Bounds, Pastor and Prayer: Why and How Pastors Ought to Pray (Abbotsford, WI: Aneko Press, Kindle Edition).