So a new semester of PhD work is nearly upon me, and with that comes little time to think about much else. Other guys have greater capacity to do a variety of things effectively, but I find that I must stay focused on a few things to do them well. As such, I want to continue blogging, but for the next several months plan on sharing excerpts from a book that is having a profound impact on my life. That work is entitled The Complete Works of E. M. Bounds on Prayer. Bounds was a 19th century pastor who dedicated the last years of his life to itinerant preaching and intense prayer. There is much we can learn from this man as it relates to the ministry of prayer, every page contains great wisdom and exhortation. The following excerpts come from his first chapter relating prayer and faith. As time allows I hope to also add some commentary to these excerpts, but my prayer is that we would all be affected and driven to fervent prayer that comes from a righteous heart.
“Faith does the impossible because it brings God to undertake for us, and nothing is impossible with God.” (13)
“The faith which creates powerful praying is the faith which centers itself on a powerful person. Faith in Christ’s ability to do and to do greatly is the faith which prays greatly.” (14)
“A praying faith keeps the commandments of God and does those things which are well pleasing in his sight…Obedience helps faith, and faith, in turn, helps obedience. To do God’s will is essential to true faith, and faith is necessary to implicit obedience.” (15)
“Faith does not grow disheartened because prayer is not immediately honored; it takes God at his Word, and lets him take what time he chooses in fulfilling his purposes, and in carrying on his work. There is bound to be much delay and long days of waiting for true faith, but faith accepts the conditions–knows there will be delays in answering prayer, and regards such delays as times of testing, in which, it is privileged to show its mettle, and the stern stuff of which it is made.” (15)