Let me begin by saying that I will do my best to give credit where it is due. Some of what I write in the coming days will be quoted from EM Bounds book on prayer and i will put these quotes in quotations. I hope and trust that these comments will be helpful and perhaps encourage you to read a great book on a great subject! I plan on commenting on each chapter individually as i read. Having said that... let me begin with chapter one!
Book One - The Necessity of Prayer
Chapter One: Prayer and Faith
Three quotes from the book to get the ball rolling. "In the ultimate issue, prayer is simply faith. When faith ceases to pray, it ceases to live. Faith does the impossible because it brings God to undertake for us." Thinking on these statements makes me wonder what blessings I have missed through unbelief. It would be easy to include Christianity in general in many of the insights to be made but I feel that it may be more profitable to be introspective. How weak my faith must be. When was the last time that I prayed for something only God can do. I think that so many times our prayers are on the o so common and we fear to tread on the ground where only God can pull us through. God help us to believe and aquire through faith.
"Faith is the foundation of Christian character and the security of the soul. Faith is the starting point. The faith which crates powerful praying is the faith which centers itself on a powerful person. Faith in Christ's ability to do and to do greatly is the faith which prays greatly." These comments are all from the book and are a challenge to examine my faith. I know as a Christian we all are built on the same foundation, faith in Christ. We in that way have the same starting point but so many do not build onto that faith. I believe the cause of this is that while we look to Christ for our salvation we do not look to this Great Saviour for daily living. We have decided that salvation is not that great a work after all. Dont get me wrong, we or I would never say that out loud but our lives say it very loudly. If we count salvation the greatest of all miracles then lets begin counting on Christ for more wonderful prayer aquired acts!
"Faith is obedient. Such faith acts, when told. Obedience helps faith and faith in turn helps obedience." Truest and pure Christianity is the one that acts when moved to. Too often when we here what should be done, what must be done, in a message on Sunday we do nothing. We read the same in God's Word, we quietly agree, and still do little or nothing. When did we, myself and many of the Christians I have observed, allow our child like faith to dwindle? It has mainly ceased to act, and ceased to obey. God help us!
One of our excuses is that God doesnt answer quick enough. How wrong we are! He always answers on time, His time. Sometimes His answer is to wait. EM Bounds said this "His delay will serve to make his coming the more richly blessed. Delay is often the test and the strength of faith." How long are we willing to wait and prove our faith? If we are willing I truly believe it pleases him who saves us and answers prayer. Bounds said it well, "Patience has its perfect work in the school of delay." God help us to learn patience rather than be frustrated in the waiting.
We must remember that God wants to answer our prayers. Jesus said, "If ye shall ask anything in my name, I will do it." Bounds expounded on this well. "If Jesus dwells at the fountain of my life; if the currents of his life have displaced and superseded all self-currents; if implicit obedience to him is the inspiration and force of every movement of my life, then he can safely commit the praying to my will, and pledge himself, by an obligation as profound as his own nature, that whatsoever is asked shall be granted." Simply put, when His will becomes our will and the desires of our prayers are the same as his desire then He delights to answer them!