Man is looking for better methods.
God is looking for better men.
Man is God’s method.
E.M. Bounds – The Power of Prayer
QUOTES FROM E. M. BOUNDS – “The Necessity of Prayer” (a reverend during the Civil War in America in the 1800s)
- Praying that does not result in right thinking and right living, is a farce. We have missed the whole concern of prayer if it fails to purge character and correct conduct. We have failed entirely to apprehend the virtue of prayer if it does not bring about the revolutionizing of the life. In the very nature of things, we must quit praying or our bad conduct. Cold, formal praying may exist side by side with bad conduct, but such praying in the estimation of God is no praying at all. Our praying advances in power only as far as it corrects the life. Growing in purity and devotion to God will make and be a more prayerful life.
- The gift of the Holy Spirit in full measure and in richer experience, depends upon loving obedience: “If ye love Me, keep My commandments,” is the Master’s Word. “And I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter, that He may abide with you for ever.” Obedience to God is a condition of spiritual wisdom, inward satisfaction, and steadiness of heart… Obedience opens the gates of the Holy City and gives access to the tree of Life.
- If any should complain that humanity under the fall is too weak and helpless to obey these high commands of God, the answer is that through the atonement of Christ humanity is made able to obey. The atonement is God’s “Enabling Act.” In regeneration and through the agency of the Holy Spirit, God works in us and bestows sufficient enabling grace for all that is required of us under the atonement. This grace is furnished without measure in answer to prayer. So at the same time God commands, He stands pledged to give us all the necessary strength of will and grace of soul to meet His demands. Since this is true, we are without excuse for our disobedience. And we are highly at fault for refusing or failing to obtain the necessary grace by which we may serve the Lord with reverence and godly fear. Those who declare it to be impossible to keep God’s commandments strangely overlook one important consideration. That consideration is the vital truth that states that through prayer and faith our nature is changed and we are made partakers of the divine nature. Also, that all reluctance to obey God is taken out of us, and our natural inability to keep God’s commandments because by our fallen and helpless states is gloriously removed. By this radical change that is worked in our moral nature, we receive power to obey God in every way and to yield full and glad allegiance. Thus we can say, “I delight to do Thy will, O my God.” God removes the rebellion that is part of our natural person, and blessedly gives us a heart that gladly obeys His Word.
- There is no denying that unrenewed people with all the disabilities of the Fall upon them cannot obey God. But to declare that, after one is renewed by the Holy Spirit, has received a new nature, and become a child of the King, he cannot obey God, is to assume a ridiculous attitude, and to display, moreover, a lamentable ignorance of the work and implications of the Atonement. Unquestioning and perfect obedience is the state to which the person of prayer is called. “Lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting,” is the condition of obedient praying. Here inward faithfulness and love, together with outward cleanness, are put down as coexisting requirements of acceptable praying.
- Obedience can ask with boldness at the throne of grace, and those who are obedient are the only ones who can ask in that way. Disobedient Christians are timid in their approach and hesitant in their supplication. They are stopped by reason of their wrongdoing.
- Obedience follows love, and prayer follows obedience.
- If you have an earnest desire to pray well, you must learn how to obey well…. If you desire to pray to God, you must first have a consuming desire to obey Him. If you want free access to God in prayer, then every obstacle of sin or disobedience must ben removed.. Those who have never wept concerning their sins, have never really prayed over their sins…. Until (the stage of unquestioning obedience) is taken, prayer for blessing and continued sustenance will be of no use…. Nowhere does He approve sin or excuse disobedience…. Obeying (God’s commands) brings blessing, disobeying them brings disaster.
We lift up the Holy Name of our Father in heaven! We praise You for Who You are!! Help us to remember all that You have done for Your people and for us specifically in the past. Let us see and confess and repent of every sin that offends Your holiness. Empower us to walk in total love, submission, faithfulness and obedience to You by Your Spirit. We long to honor You above all else. We invite Your Spirit to fill us like Niagra Falls. Empower us to be women of fervent, effectual prayer. Let Your will and Your glory be done in our lives. Let us be Spirit-filled, godly people who dramatically impact this world for Your kingdom. Give us unity among ourselves and in our churches by Your power. Tear down every stronghold of sin and the enemy in our lives and in Your people. Bring a new Great Awakening on every continent and island around the world! We need a powerful and massive move of Your Spirit desperately! We lift up our families and brothers and sisters in Christ, that You might work in their lives for Your purposes to be accomplished, for Your will to be done in our homes and for Your greatest glory in our lives and in our families’ lives, in Your church and in the world. Protect us and our brothers and sisters from evil and from temptation. Use us to shine for You and to draw many people to Christ. Change us radically to be faithful disciples of Yours! Let us live lives that are worthy of You. Give us new hearts, new spirits and new minds. Make us more and more like Christ!
Make us men and women of utmost gratitude to You for all You have done for us. Let us be people of obedience to Your Word. Let us show our love by our joyful and cheerful desire to obey Your every command. Flood us with Your power and Your Spirit. Make us people of fervent prayer. Make us useful for Your kingdom. Set us apart for Your purposes. Continue to sanctify us more and more and make us more like Christ. Regenerate our spirits, Lord. Let us learn to access the overwhelming Grace You make so readily available to us! We can do NOTHING apart from You!
If you are not currently reading anything in God’s Word, I encourage you to start in John, then Acts and Romans. 🙂 Feast on God’s Word every day. Listen to it in the car. Read while you eat breakfast. Meditate on God’s Word. Fill your mind with it. Pay careful attention to the things God commands us to do and let’s get to work doing God’s will together in the power of His Spirit.
DAVID PLATT – “Desire – Do We Want Him?”