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 E.M. Bounds - our example in prayer
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kevtherev
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Australia
354 Posts

Posted - 22 Jan 2006 :  21:34:14  Show Profile  Email Poster  Reply with Quote
The Potters House Church acknowledges it's debt to great men of God
who have gone before us.

One such man is E.M. Bounds. Bounds had a thirst for God and a desire to see his brethren become prayer warriors. Much like Pastor Mitchell, Bounds was gifted in building and reviving the Church. This prophet of prayer often made preachers uncomfortable with his call for holiness and his attacks on lusting for money, prestige and power. "His constant call for revival annoyed those who believed that the Church was essentially sound . . ." God gave him a great prayer commission, requiring daily intercession. He labored in prayer for the sanctification of preachers, revival of the Church in North America and the spread of holiness among professing Christians. He spent a minimum of three to four hours a day in fervent prayer. "Sometimes he would lie flat on his back and talk to God; but many hours were spent on his knees or lying face down where he could be heard weeping . . ."

W. H. Hodge, who is responsible for putting most of Bounds' writings into print, gives us some personal insights into Bounds' life. He writes:

"I have been among many ministers and slept in the same room with them for several years. They prayed, but I was never impressed with any special praying among them until one day a small man with gray hair and an eye like an eagle came along. We had a ten day convention. We had some fine preachers around the home, and one of them was assigned to my room. I was surprised early next morning to see a man bathing himself before day and then see him get down and begin to pray. I said to myself, 'He will not disturb us, but will soon finish', he kept on softly for hours, interceding and weeping softly, for me and my indifference, and for all the ministers of God. He spoke the next day on prayer. I became interested for I was young in the ministry, and had often desired to meet with a man of God that prayed like the saints of the Apostolic age. Next morning he was up praying again, and for ten days he was up early praying for hours. I became intensely interested and thanked God for sending him. 'At last,' I said, I have found a man that really prays. I shall never let him go. He drew me to him with hooks of steel."


Edward McKendree Bounds (1835 - 1913) not only a powerful preacher, but a well-known minister during the era of America's Civil War. Although he was against aligning himself with either side in that war, having refused to join the Confederate Army initially, the Union Army nevertheless arrested him as a Confederate sympathizer because he pastored a church in Brunswick, Missouri, which was Confederate territory. He was released about a year and half later whereupon it became impossible for him to minister the gospel within the arena of war unless he was given official sanction. Thus, he enlisted as a Confederate Chaplin in the Missouri ranks. He became an immense source of comfort for both Confederate and Union soldiers alike, ministering to either side as the Lord gave him opportunity. It is recorded that one night before a major battle, Bounds was holding a gospel service for a large contingent of Confederate troops encamped along a river. On the other side of the river was the Union Army. When the Union troops across the river discerned that Bounds was holding a service, they began to yell across the river and ask for prayers for various comrades who had been wounded or who were otherwise in need. The Confederate side, under Bounds, warmly received these requests, and yelled back across the river with names of their own injured, thereby soliciting prayers from the Union side. Such was the effect that E. M. Bounds had upon all he ministered to. In the annals of Christendom, Bounds' works on prayer are unequaled, especially his greatest piece - Power Through Prayer. The complete works of E. M. Bounds on prayer are available in print from Baker Books, and his discourses should be read by every person who calls himself Christian.

"Faith is not an abstract belief in the Word of God, nor a mere mental credence, nor a simple assent of the understanding and will; nor is it a passive acceptance of facts, however sacred or thorough. Faith is an operation of God, a divine illumination, a holy energy implanted by the Word of God and the Spirit in the human soul - a spiritual, divine principle which takes of the supernatural and makes it a thing apprehendable by the faculties of time and sense." Prayer And Faith

"Dead men give out dead sermons, and dead sermons kill... The real sermon is made in the closet. The man -- God's man -- is made in the closet... The pulpit of this day is weak in praying. The pride of learning is against the dependent humility of prayer... Every preacher who does not make prayer a mighty factor in his own life and ministry is weak as a factor in God's work and is powerless to project God's cause in this world." Power Through Prayer

"Preaching is to give life; it may kill... This letter-preaching has the truth. But even divine truth has no life-giving energy alone; it must be energized by the Spirit, with all God's forces at its back. Truth unquickened by God's Spirit deadens as much as - or more than - error. It may be the truth without admixture; but without the Spirit its shade and touch are deadly, its truth error, its light darkness." Power Through Prayer

"The preaching that kills may be, and often is, orthodox -- dogmatically, inviolably orthodox...The preaching that kills may have insight and grasp of principles, may be scholarly and critical in taste, may have every minutiae of the derivation and grammar of the letter, may be able to trim the letter into its perfect pattern, and illume it as Plato and Cicero may be illumined, may study it as a lawyer studies his textbooks to form his brief or to defend his case, and yet be like a frost - a killing frost... Under such preaching how wide and utter the desolation! How profound the spiritual death!... This preacher and his preaching have helped sin, not holiness; peopled hell, not heaven." Power Through Prayer

"The name and honor of Jesus Christ, the advance of his cause, must be all in all. The preacher must have no inspiration but the name of Jesus Christ, no ambition but to have him glorified, no toil but for him." Power Through Prayer

"We do say that almost any man of common intelligence has sense enough to preach the gospel, but very few have grace enough to do so." Power Through Prayer

"A separation to God's work by the power of the Holy Spirit is the only consecration recognized by God as legitimate." Power Through Prayer

"Laymen there are who will give their money -- some of them in rich abundance -- but they will not give themselves to prayer, without which their money is but a curse." Power Through Prayer

"Biblical revelations are not against reason but above reason. They require the exercise of faith, man's highest faculty." Guide To Spiritual Warfare, p 12

"A bad reputation can be coupled with good character. Conversely, a good reputation can cover up bad character. But the Devil has this characteristic about him: his reputation is based on his character. They are one. The Devil's reputation is bad, because his character is worse!" Guide To Spiritual Warfare, p 16

"Satan is always at church before the preacher is in the pulpit or a member is in the pew. He comes to hinder the sower, to impoverish the soil, or to corrupt the seed. He uses these tactics only when courage and faith are in the pulpit, and zeal and prayer are in the pew; but if dead ritualism or live liberalism are in the pulpit, he does not attend, because they are no danger to him." Guide To Spiritual Warfare, p 34

"The Devil goes about as fierce, as resolute, and as strong as a lion, intent only on destroying. He is restrained by no sentiments that soften and move human or divine hearts. He has no pity and no sympathy. He is great, but he is only great in evil. He has a great intellect, but he is driven and inspired by a vicious and cruel heart." Guide To Spiritual Warfare, p 35

"That is the Devil's main business -- to materialize religion, to get man to live for bread alone, to make earth bigger than heaven, to make time more intriguing than eternity." Guide To Spiritual Warfare, p 36

"Satan's supreme effort is to gain control of the church -- not to destroy its organization, but to divert its divine purpose. He does this in the most insidious way, so that there is no startling change and nothing to shock or alarm those whom he is trying to undermine." Guide To Spiritual Warfare, p 42

"In worldly, popular language, a local church is called strong when its membership is large, and when it has social position and financial resources. A church is thought to be powerful when ability, learning, and eloquence fill the pulpit, and when the pews are filled by fashion, intelligence, money, and influence. An assumption of this kind is worldly to the fullest extent. The church that defines its strength in this way is on the highway to apostasy." Guide To Spiritual Warfare, p 43

"On the contrary, show us a church that is poor, illiterate, obscure, and unknown, but composed of praying people. They may not be men of power, wealth, or influence. Their families may not know one week where they are to their bread for the next. But with them is "the hiding of God's power" (Habakkuk 3:4), and their influence will be felt for eternity. Wherever they go there is a fountain of light, Christ in them is glorified, and His kingdom is advanced. They are His chosen vessels of salvation who reflect His light." Guide To Spiritual Warfare, p 44

"The personal holiness of the members of each church is the only true measure of strength. Any other test offends God, dishonors Christ, grieves the Holy Spirit, and degrades religion." Guide To Spiritual Warfare, p 46

"God's church must continue to do this work of converting sinners and perfecting saints in holiness. Whenever this work becomes secondary, or other interests are held to be its equivalent, then the church becomes worldly." Guide To Spiritual Warfare, p 46 "When collecting money, building buildings, and counting attendance become the evidence of church prosperity, then the world has a strong foothold, and Satan has achieved his purpose." Guide To Spiritual Warfare, p 47

"The things that men savor in church planning and church life are against God's plan... The Devil seeks to destroy the church indirectly. Men's views eliminate all the unpopular principles of the Cross... Then the church becomes popular, self-satisfying, modern, progressive. But it is the Devil's church, founded on principles pleasing in every way to flesh and blood." Guide To Spiritual Warfare, p 49

"Man's wise plans, thoughtful resources, and easy solutions are Satan's devices... All of God's plans have the mark of the Cross on them, and all His plans have death to self in them. All of God's plans have crucifixion to the world in them." Guide To Spiritual Warfare, p 51-52

"Satan deludes church leaders into thinking that the main purpose of the church today is not so much to save individuals out of society as to save society, not so much to save souls as to save the bodies of men, not so much to save men out of a community as to save men and manhood in the community. The world, not the individual, is the subject of redemption." Guide To Spiritual Warfare, p 52

"The early church took it for granted that all who came to them really desired to 'flee from the wrath to come' (Matthew 3:7) and were sincerely yearning after full redemption." Guide To Spiritual Warfare, p 57

"The world should be renounced by every true disciple of Christ. To love the world and the things of the world puts us in open enmity to God. If we have a relationship of love or friendship to the world, we are the enemies of God. We need commit no other sin except that of having an attachment to the world; by that alone, we are the enemies of God." Guide To Spiritual Warfare, p 61

"Friendship with the world violates our marriage vows to heaven." Guide To Spiritual Warfare, p 68

"Under the guise of Christian learning, education becomes the most powerful ally to Satan by unsettling faith in God's Word and opening a wide door of skepticism in the temple of God." Guide To Spiritual Warfare, p 73

"Satan works by imitation. It is his policy to make something as close to the original as possible and, thereby, to break the force and value of the genuine." Guide To Spiritual Warfare, p 95

"This is another of Satan's methods: to distress and defame those whom he cannot deceive." Guide To Spiritual Warfare, p 100

"The Devil is seldom seen in his movements and methods. He has the rare ability to get others to do his work and execute his plans." Guide To Spiritual Warfare, p 101

"Satan perverts the things that are truly works of God and misemploys miracles to obscure God's glory." Guide To Spiritual Warfare, p 103

"The saints who have seen most of heaven are often summoned to see most of hell. Saints who have the fullest and most transporting revelation of God often have the saddest experience with Satan. Paul's thorn meant as much to Paul as his abundance of revelations. His thorn made him more a saint than his vision of the third heavens. Satan only lifted him higher by keeping him lower." Guide To Spiritual Warfare, p 106

"Satan's thorns will make room for God's greatest power in us and on us. The Enemy's thorns will make the lowest point of a spiritual depression the highest point of vision. His thorns will make strength out of weakness and wealth out of poverty." Guide To Spiritual Warfare, p 107

"Stupidity, neglect, and being off guard in the conflict with Satan are much more than mistakes or indiscretions. They are fatal defeats -- eternal and irreparable losses." Guide To Spiritual Warfare, p 109

"Israel lost Canaan by not possessing Canaan." Guide To Spiritual Warfare, p 128

"No cry of alarm is so frequent in the New Testament as the call to watch. No call hurts Satan so vitally or defeats him so readily as the call to watch. Being on the watchtower prevents all surprises and is essential to victory at all times... The foolish virgins missed heaven because they failed in this virtue." Guide To Spiritual Warfare, p 140, 146

"Satan cannot stand against a display of the blood of Christ. He turns pale at every view of Calvary. The flowing wounds are the signals of Satan's retreat. A heart sprinkled with the blood is holy ground on which he dares not tread. Satan trembles and cowers in the presence of the blood-sprinkled warrior." Guide To Spiritual Warfare, p 142

"We cannot make too much of the Word of God. Christ foiled Satan with it. If we are to be valiant, true, and invincible, we also must have the Word of God dwelling in us richly." Guide To Spiritual Warfare, p 151

Posters Comment: Let us, like Bounds, find our place every morning in devotion to God, not just because it is a Potters House thing to do, but because it is a Christ like thing to do. Let us spend at least 1 hr daily with God, who "purchased us with his own blood"

http://www.pottersclub.com/articleshow.asp?art_num=18
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