This is the 3rd and final post in my series on "Why the Church Needs to Pray" be sure to scroll back and read the other 2 posts. In this article I want to introduce you to 3 Praying People Whose Lives are Living Proof of what happens when prayer is priority.
Edward McKendree Bounds died in 1913 and yet he has a facebook page and website today. I wonder if he knows that. E.M. Bounds lived his life from 1835-1913, serving in the ministry during the tumultuous years leading up to, during, and after the Civil War. He was a chaplain for the confederate army and even served time in prison (in Nashville, TN!). Fortunately for us, he spent much of his time writing. His books on prayer are CLASSICS because their words continue to bear fruit for the kingdom today.
E.M. Bounds on the priority of prayer:
"What the Church needs to-day is not more machinery or better, not new organizations or more and novel methods, but men whom the Holy Ghost can use men of prayer, men mighty in prayer. The Holy Ghost does not flow through methods, but through men. He does not come on machinery, but on men. He does not anoint plans, but men, men of prayer."
"No man can do a great and enduring work for God who is not a man of prayer, and no man can be a man of prayer who does not give much time to praying."
“The secret of success in Christ’s Kingdom is the ability to pray.”
“A revival of real praying would produce a spiritual revolution.”
You can take a deep dive into more about E.M. Bounds at www.embounds.online
Unlike E.M. Bounds, Charles Spurgeon experienced success and renown as a preacher. He was called the "prince of preachers" during his lifetime. And by the young age of 22, he was already "the most popular preacher of the day" often preaching to over 10,000 people. Spurgeon tells a great story of his conversion experience. When he was 15 years old, he went into a primitive Methodist church on his way to somewhere else. But because of a snow storm, he ended up with about 15 other people listening to a layman present a simple message. You can read the entire story here: www.princeofpreachers.org
I love that Spurgeon, a renowned Baptist pastor, was led to the LORD by a Methodist layman.
I also love that his words were recorded and that their message is timeless. "Spurgeon's sermons were published in printed form every week, and enjoyed a high circulation. By the time of his death in 1892, he had preached almost thirty-six hundred sermons and published forty-nine volumes of commentaries, sayings, anecdotes, illustrations, and devotions."
Spurgeon on prayer:
"Prayer is the natural outgushing of a soul in communion with Jesus. Just as the leaf and the fruit will come out of the vine-branch without any conscious effort on the part of the branch, but simply because of its living union with the stem, so prayer buds, and blossoms, and fruits out of souls abiding in Jesus."
"Groanings which cannot be uttered are often prayers which cannot be refused."
"Prayer is doubts destroyer, ruin’s remedy, the antidote to all anxieties."
"Prayer plumes the wings of God’s young eaglets so that they may learn to mount above the clouds. Prayer brings inner strength to God’s warriors and sends them forth to spiritual battle with their muscles firm and their armor in place."
Andrew Murray was training to be a preacher when he experienced his conversion. From that moment forward he sought to "cast" himself fully on the LORD. Christianity Today records this about Andrew's determination to be fully surrendered to the LORD,
"This "casting of the self" became Murray's life theme. Sixty years of ministry in the Dutch Reformed Church of South Africa, more than 200 books and tracts on Christian spirituality and ministry, extensive social work, and the founding of educational institutions—all these were outward signs of the inward grace that Murray experienced by continually casting himself on Christ.
'May not a single moment of my life be spent outside the light, love, and joy of God's presence,' was his prayer. 'And not a moment without the entire surrender of myself as a vessel for him to fill full of his Spirit and his love.'"
One of the best books you can ever read on prayer is Andrew Murray's With Christ in the School of Prayer. This is what CT says about this powerful book,
"One of his most popular books, With Christ in the School of Prayer, takes New Testament teachings about prayer and illumines them in 31 "lessons" designed to help the reader move past shallow, ineffectual prayer into a fuller understanding of the work God has called them to do. According to Murray, the church does not realize that 'God rules the world by the prayers of his saints, that prayer is the power by which Satan is conquered, that by prayer the church on earth has disposal of the powers of the heavenly world.'"
Andrew Murray on prayer:
"Answered prayer is the interchange of love between the Father and His child."
"Each time you intercede, be quiet first and worship God in His glory. Think of what He can do, of how He delights to hear Christ, of your place in Christ, and expect great things."
"Learn to worship God as the God who does wonders, who wishes to prove in you that He can do something supernatural and divine."
"Prayer is not monologue, but dialogue; God’s voice is its most essential part. Listening to God’s voice is the secret of the assurance that He will listen to mine."
OH that we would grab hold of these timeless truths written by great men of God who demonsrated what can happen when we live lives of prayer. Be encouraged prayer leader with these final quotes:
"The man who mobilizes the Christian church to pray will make the greatest contribution to world evangelization in history." --Andrew Murray
"Now, my own soul’s conviction is, that prayer is the grandest power in the entire universe; that it has a more omnipotent force than electricity, attraction, gravitation, or any other of those secret forces which men have called by names, but which they do not understand." --Charles Spurgeon
“The prayers of God’s saints are the capital stock in heaven by which Christ carries on His great work upon earth.” --E. M. Bounds