A couple more thoughts today from E. M. Bounds on the topic of prayer and faith.
What an era of glorious achievements would dawn for the church and the world, if only there could be reproduced a race of saints of like mighty faith, of like wonderful praying! It is not the intellectually great that the church needs; nor is it men of wealth that the times demand. It is not people of great social influence that this day requires. Above everybody and everything else, it is men of faith, men of mighty prayer, men and women after the fashion of the saints and heroes enumerated in Hebrews, who ‘obtained a good report through faith,’ that the church and the whole world of humanity needs.” (20)
This is certainly not to disparage the need for intellectual pursuits in the Christian life, nor to disregard those who have been blessed by God with financial resources. The point is that our knowledge of the Word and abundance (or lack) of resources should drive us to our knees before God as we know Him better and see His provision. The Word of God was given that we might know God and relate to Him through prayer.
The pastor who succeeds in changing his people from a prayerless to a prayerful people, has done a greater work than did Augustus in changing a city from wood to marble. And after all this is the prime work of the preacher…His main business is to turn them from being forgetful of God, and from being devoid of faith, from being prayerless, so that they become people who habitually pray, who believe in God, remember him, and do his will. (21)
For those in ministry, this is a needful reminder. May we concentrate our efforts on faithfully teaching the Word of God, shepherding His people, and praying for them while also leading them to pray fervently.