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The Necessity of Prayer by E. M. Bounds

The Necessity of Prayer by E. M. Bounds

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Published by Anne Kisly

In The Necessity of Prayer, Edward Bounds, a 20th century pastor and lawyer, suggests that prayer is an essential part of the Christian believer's life. He writes, "the Christian soldier, if he fight to win, must pray much." Bounds' book, however, is not simply a list of prayers for one to work through, but also a discourse on the very nature of prayer. He connects the nature of prayer to other features of the Christian life, such as faith, reverence, patience, hope, character, conduct, and faithfulness. Bounds' passion for prayer--which compelled him to write nine books on the topic--shines through in this work, and cannot but help motivate those who read it to also see the necessity of prayer. Perfect for individual study, Bounds' book is sure to change the way one prays.

In The Necessity of Prayer, Edward Bounds, a 20th century pastor and lawyer, suggests that prayer is an essential part of the Christian believer's life. He writes, "the Christian soldier, if he fight to win, must pray much." Bounds' book, however, is not simply a list of prayers for one to work through, but also a discourse on the very nature of prayer. He connects the nature of prayer to other features of the Christian life, such as faith, reverence, patience, hope, character, conduct, and faithfulness. Bounds' passion for prayer--which compelled him to write nine books on the topic--shines through in this work, and cannot but help motivate those who read it to also see the necessity of prayer. Perfect for individual study, Bounds' book is sure to change the way one prays.

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Published by: Anne Kisly on Feb 10, 2013
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The Necessity of Prayer by E.M. Bounds
Edward McKendree Bounds (1835-1913)
Edward McKendree Bounds (1835-113!"
 Methodist minister and devotional writer, was born in Shelby County, Missouri. He studied law and was admitted to the bar at 21 years of age. After practicing law for three years, he began preaching for the Methodist piscopal Church.  After the Civil !ar, "ounds served as pastor of churches in #ennessee and Alabama, and in St. $ouis, Missouri. He spent the last 1% years of his life with his family in !ashington, &eorgia, writing his Spiritual $ife "oo's.
 
The Necessity of Prayer 
by Pastor E.M. Bounds#ha$ter 1 - P%&'E% &N )&*T+
() any study of the principles, and procedure of prayer, of its activities and enterprises, first place, must, of necessity, be given to faith. (t is the initial *uality in the heart of any man who essays to tal' to the +nseen. He must, out of sheer helplessness, stretch forth hands of faith. He
must 
 believe, where he cannot prove. (n the ultimate issue, prayer is simply faith, claiming its natural yet marvellous prerogatives  faith ta'ing possession of its illimitable inheritance. #rue godliness is -ust as true, steady, and persevering in the realm of faith as it is in the province of prayer. Moreover when faith ceases to pray, it ceases to live./aith does the impossible because it brings &od to underta'e for us, and nothing is impossible with &od. How great  without *ualification or limitation  is the power of faith0 (f doubt be banished from the heart, and unbelief made stranger there, what we as' of &od shall surely come to pass, and a believer hath vouchsafed to him whatsoever he saith. rayer pro-ects faith on &od, and &od on the world. 3nly &od can move mountains, but faith and prayer move &od. (n His cursing of the figtree our $ord demonstrated His power. /ollowing that, He proceeded to declare, that large powers were committed to faith and prayer, not in order to 'ill but to ma'e alive, not to blast but to bless.  At this point in our study, we turn to a saying of our $ord, which there is need to emphasi4e, since it is the very 'eystone of the arch of faith and prayer.
"Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them." 
!e should ponder well that statement  "elieve that ye receive them, and ye shall have them. Here is described a faith which reali4es, which appropriates, which
takes
. Such faith is a consciousness of the 5ivine, an e6perienced communion, a reali4ed certainty. (s faith growing or declining as the years go by7 5oes faith stand strong and four s*uare, these days, as ini*uity abounds and the love of many grows cold7 5oes faith maintain its hold, as religion tends to become a mere formality and worldliness increasingly prevails7 #he en*uiry of our $ord, may, with great appropriateness, be ours. !hen the Son of Man cometh, He as's, shall He find faith on the earth7 !e believe that He will, and it is ours, in this our day, to see to it that the lamp of faith is trimmed and burning, lest He come who
shall 
 come, and that right early. /aith is the foundation of Christian character and the security of the soul. !hen 8esus was loo'ing forward to eter9s denial, and cautioning him against it, He said unto His disciple
 
"Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, to sift you as wheat; but I have  prayed for thee, that thy faith fall not." 
3ur $ord was declaring a central truth: it was eter9s faith He was see'ing to guard: for well He 'new that when faith is bro'en down, the foundations of spiritual life give way, and the entire structure of religious e6perience falls. (t was eter9s faith which needed guarding. Hence Christ9s solicitude for the welfare of His disciple9s soul and His determination to fortify eter9s faith by His own allprevailing prayer. (n his
Second pistle
, eter has this idea in mind when spea'ing of growth in grace as a measure of safety in the Christian life, and as implying fruitfulness.
"!nd besides this," he declares, "giving diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; and to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to  patience godliness." 
3f this additioning process, faith was the startingpoint  the basis of the other graces of the Spirit. /aith was the foundation on which other things were to be built. eter does not en-oin his readers to add to wor's or gifts or virtues but to
faith
. Much depends on starting right in this business of growing in grace. #here is a 5ivine order, of which eter was aware: and so he goes on to declare that we are to give diligence to ma'ing our calling and election sure, which election is rendered certain adding to faith which, in turn, is done by constant, earnest praying. #hus faith is 'ept alive by prayer, and every step ta'en, in this adding of grace to grace, is accompanied by prayer. #he faith which pcreates powerful praying is the faith which centres itself on a powerful erson. /aith in Christ9s ability to
do
 and to
do greatly 
, is the faith which prays greatly. #hus the leper lay hold upon the power of Christ. $ord, if #hou wilt, he cried, #hou canst ma'e me clean. (n this instance, we are shown how faith centered in Christ9s ability to
do
, and how it secured the healing power. (t was concerning this very point, that 8esus *uestioned the blind men who came to Him for healing
"elieve ye that I am able to do this#" $e asks. "They said unto $im, %ea, &ord. Then touched $e their eyes, saying, !ccording to your faith be it unto you." 
(t was to inspire faith in His ability to
do
 that 8esus left behind Him, that last, great statement, which, in the final analysis, is a ringing challenge to faith. All power, He declared, is given unto Me in heaven and in earth.
/rom
The 'ecessity of (rayer 
 by astor .M. "ounds, Chapter 1

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