The Possibilities of Prayer
The Possibilities of Prayer by E M. Bounds: THE ministry of prayer has been the peculiar distinction of all of God’s saints. This has been the secret of their power. The ener-gy and the soul of their work has been the closet. The need of help outside of man being so great, man’s natural inability to always judge kindly, justly, and truly, and to act the Golden Rule, so prayer is enjoined by Christ to enable man to act in all these things according to the Divine will. By prayer, the ability is se-cured to feel the law of love, to speak according to the law of love, and to do everything in harmony with the law of love.
God can help us. God is a Father. We need God’s good things to help us to “do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly before God.” We need Divine aid to act brotherly, wisely, and nobly, and to judge truly, and charitably. God’s help to do all these things in God’s way is secured by prayer. “Ask, and ye shall receive; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.”
In the marvelous output of Christian graces and duties, the result of giving ourselves wholly to God, recorded in the twelfth chapter of Romans, we have the words, “Continuing instant in prayer,” preceded by “rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation,” followed by, “Distributing to the necessity of the saints, given to hospitality.” Paul thus writes as if these rich and rare graces and unselfish duties, so sweet, bright, generous, and unselfish, had for their center and source the ability to pray.
This is the same word which is used of the prayer of the disci-ples which ushered in Pentecost with all of its rich and glorious blessings of the Holy Spirit. In Colossians, Paul presses the word into the service of prayer again, “Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving.” The word in its background and root means strong, the ability to stay, and persevere steadfast, to hold fast and firm, to give constant attention to. (The Possibilities of Prayer)
In Acts, chapter six, it is translated, “Give ourselves continual-ly to prayer.” There is in it constancy, courage, unfainting perse-verance. It means giving such marked attention to, and such deep concern to a thing, as will make it conspicuous and control-ling. This is an advance in demand on “continue.” Prayer is to be incessant, without intermission, assiduously, no check in desire, in spirit or in act, the spirit and the life always in the attitude of prayer. The knees may not always be bended, the lips may not always be vocal with words of prayer, but the spirit is always in the act and intercourse of prayer.
There ought to be no adjustment of life or spirit for closet hours. The closet spirit should sweetly rule and adjust all times and occasions. Our activities and work should be performed in the same spirit which makes our devotion, and which makes our closet time sacred. “Without intermission, incessantly, assidu-ously,” describes an opulence, and energy, and unabated and ceaseless strength and fulness of effort; like the full and exhaust-less and spontaneous flow of an artesian stream. Touch the man of God who thus understands prayer, at any point, at any time, and a full current of prayer is seen flowing from him.
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The Possibilities of Prayer by E M. Bounds
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- The Possibilities of Prayer by E M. Bounds