It amazes me to think, and I had to constantly remind myself as I read, that this book was written at the end of the 19th century, over 100 years ago. Even then, EM Bounds, in Power Through Prayer, cried out for men to pray, chastised men for disregarding prayer, criticized men for neglecting the vital ingredient in serving God. For all our technology, we are not any different than those who have gone before us. There have always been things that have kept us from and distracted us from the greater work of prayer. I think that the problem we have with prayer is a condition of our falleness rather than the state of the world around us. How often have I struggled, faltered, rushed, forgone time alone with my Father. Here I am… open the door, He says. But off I rush, wondering why I am failing, wondering why there is lack of power in my life. Anything done without prayer – a real seeking the heart of God, prayer – is done in my own strength and with my own ideas, not His strength, not His ideas. If we want to serve, if we want to impact the world for His Kingdom, we need His anointing. God’s anointing is His pleasure to put us to work in His plan with His power because we have diligently and persistently sought His heart. The apostles appointed deacons to serve so they could devote themselves to prayer. But did the deacons also find prayer important? Do some positions require more praying? Or are we all called to pray and our service, our ministry, our work is the overflow of that time spent with the Father? EM Bounds aims his book at preachers. I am not a preacher, but I can replace the words preacher and preaching throughout the book with other words: teacher, teaching; leader, leading; disciple maker, discipling… The power of prayer must be at the heart of every role if it is to have eternal impact and not just earthly good. To spend time with the Father is to learn His heart and to know it is good; He is good.
"The Lord God gives me the right words to encourage the weary.
Each morning he awakens me eager to learn his teaching;
he made me willing to listen and not rebel or run away."
"We are your symphony, Mr. Holland. We are the melodies and the notes of your opus. We are the music of your life."
— Governor Gertrude Lang (Joanna Gleason) in Mr. Holland's Opus
"It would seem that Our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.”
"...to be little with God is to be little for God."
"If you can't feed a hundred people, then feed just one."
"He became what we are that He might make us what He is"
Saint Athanasius, 295-373
"It is the Christ in you, who recognizes the Christ in me...From now on, wherever you go, or wherever I go, all the ground between us will be holy ground."
Henri J.M. Nouwen
"…I have no better answer than the example of Jesus, who knew above any of us the wisdom of the Father and yet who felt a strong need to flood the heavens with requests."
"The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting. It has been found difficult and left untried."
"The well of your incompleteness runs deep, but make the effort to look away from yourself and to look toward Him."