IN HIS OWN WORDS – Classic eBooks on Prayer by E. M. Bounds
In this article, we want to let author E. M. Bounds tell you in his own words about the importance of prayer to God, to the Church, to the world, and to you. Thus, we will quote a little from five new classic eBooks by this author available from Olive Tree. First, however, let’s talk a little about the author and his work.
Few have written about prayer with the experience, authority, conviction, and eloquence of this simple man of God from nineteentn-century America. Toughened by the loss of his father at a young age, by lonely years spent in the mining camps of California’s gold rush, by incarceration in Union prison camps during the American Civil War, and by his gritty experiences as a Confederate chaplain on the front lines of that war – praying on his knees within sight of the troops under his charge, E. M. Bounds embodied a blend of firmness and gentleness rarely seen in a man, inwrought by the Christ he loved as he was passing “through it all.” One might say that Bounds’ famous books on prayer read like Emerson’s essays, in the sense that almost every sentence could be framed and hung on the wall, so clear and incisive and perfectly fitting are the words. Unlike Emerson, however, this man would never choose to write an essay on self-reliance; rather, he had learned the secret of whole-heartedly casting EVERYTHING on the Savior through persevering prayer and constant communion with the One for whom nothing is impossible. And he had experienced first-hand the power of prayer and supplication to change the world.
Currently, Olive Tree offers five classic eBooks on prayer by E. M. Bounds, with three more to come. Hyperlinked Scripture references, verse indexes, book marks, and other features of the electronic versions, make reading these eBooks with Olive Tree’s BibleReader software a great experience. Let’s take a brief look at each book.
In The Essentials of Prayer, the author explores prayer as it relates to the whole person, to humility, to devotion, to praise, to thanksgiving, and to other essential elements of prayer. Says Bounds, “Prayer has to do with the entire man. It takes the whole man to pray, and prayer affects the entire man in its gracious results. The largest results in praying come to him who gives himself, all of himself, all that belongs to himself, to God.”
In The Necessity of Prayer, Bounds elaborates on the relationships between prayer and faith, trust, desire, fervency, importunity, character, conduct, obedience, vigilance, and the word of God. Writing about prayer and faith, the author says, “Prayer projects faith on God and God on the world. Only God can move mountains, but prayer and faith move God.” As with all of the author’s books, this one leaves readers greatly impressed with the necessity of prayer in giving God a way to accomplishes His gracious will.
As the title suggests, The Possibilities of Prayer considers prayer in relation to the promises of God and to the phenomenal answers God grants to believing prayer. “How vast are the possibilities of prayer! What great things are accomplished by this divinely appointed means of grace! It lays its hand on Almighty God and moves Him to do what He would not otherwise do if prayer was not offered. It brings things to pass which would never otherwise occur. The story of prayer is the story of great achievements.”
Power through Prayer exposes the folly of God’s people if they try to use any means other than prayer to achieve the fruit God requires. While the church and its leaders look for better methods to bring about the increase of Christ on the earth, God is intending to do a work in the vessels themselves, fitting them for something greater than they can imagine. Bounds asserts, “Men are God’s method. The Church is looking for better methods; God is looking for better men. The glory and efficiency of the gospel is staked on the men who proclaim it.”
Finally, in The Weapon of Prayer, E. M. Bounds sounds again the call to all Christians to exercise their God-given birthright for the sake of God and His kingdom, the success of which He has placed under the law of prayer. “He rules the world just as He rules the Church by prayer. This lesson needs to be emphasized, iterated and reiterated in the ears of men of modern times and brought to bear with cumulative force on the consciences of this generation whose eyes have no vision for the eternal things, whose ears are deaf toward God. Nothing is more important to God than prayer in dealing with mankind. But it is likewise all-important to man to pray. Failure to pray is failure along the whole line of life. Man must pray to God if love for God is to exist.”
As you can see, E. M. Bounds speaks very well for himself and hardly needs anyone to advocate for his books. Readers can open to any page and taste the same indomitable spirit. May God find many who will let the Lord speak to them through the writings of this forthright and devoted man of God!