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.