10 Convicting Thoughts from E.M. Bounds’ Pastor and Prayer: Why and How Pastors Ought to Pray

Sometimes I read a book I want to put down because it convicts me, but I can’t stop reading because I know I need it. E.M. Bounds’ Pastor and Prayer* is one of those books. Here are some highlights that challenge me every time I read it:

  1. “The church is looking for better methods; God is looking for better men. . . . What the church needs today is not more and better machinery, not new organizations or more innovative methods, but men whom the Holy Spirit can use – men of prayer, men mighty in prayer.” (pp. 2-3)
  2. “Much of the lax devotion and lazy, irreverent attitudes in congregational praying originate with professional praying in the pulpit. Long, rambling, dry, and hollow are the prayers in many pulpits. Without anointing or heart, they fall like a killing frost on all the graces of worship. Death-dealing prayers they are.” (pp. 18-20)
  3. “The character of our praying will determine the character of our preaching. Light praying will make light preaching. Prayer makes preaching strong, anoints it, and makes it stick.” (p. 25)
  4. “The little value we put on prayer is evident from the little time we give to it.” (p. 30)
  5. “The men who have done the most for God in this world have been on their knees early in the day. He who fritters away the early morning, its opportunity, and its freshness in other pursuits than seeking God will make poor headway seeking him the rest of the day.” (pp. 51-52)
  6. “We can learn more in an hour of prayer, when praying indeed, than from many hours in the study.” (p. 76)
  7. “Prayer, much prayer, is the price of anointed preaching; prayer, much prayer, is the one condition of keeping this blessing. Without unceasing prayer, the anointing never comes to the preacher.” (p. 92)
  8. “As far as the real interests of religion are concerned, a pulpit without a prayer closet will always be a barren thing.” (p. 96)
  9. “Air is not more necessary to the lungs than prayer is to the preacher. It is absolutely necessary for the preacher to pray, and it is an absolute necessity that the preacher be prayed for.” (p. 100)
  10. “No one but praying leaders can have praying followers. Praying apostles will beget praying saints. A praying pulpit will beget praying pews.” (p. 112)

Perhaps needless to say, I need to go to my prayer closet and stay there awhile. 


* E. M. Bounds, Pastor and Prayer: Why and How Pastors Ought to Pray (Abbotsford, WI: Aneko Press, Kindle Edition).

1 Comment

  • Robin G Jordan says:

    While we are on the subject of prayer, I have prayer request for all readers of Chuck Lawless’ blog. Across the United States many churches will be holding Vacation Bible School this week or a subsequent week during the summer. Some churches may have already held their VBS. Here in Murray, Kentucky my friends at First Methodist started their VBS on Monday. July 5, at 5:00 PM. They are conducting their VBS in the evening throughout the week, concluding with VBS Sunday this coming Sunday.

    I am asking prayers for all Vacation Bible Schools that have started this week or are starting in upcoming weeks. Please pray that the Holy Spirit will work powerfully in everyone involved, in church staff, volunteers, and participants, in everything that is said and done, that young hearts and minds will be reached with the good news of Jesus and of a loving God who sent Jesus to be their Savior, Lord, and Friend.

    I attended Vacation Bible School as a young boy more than 60 odd years ago. I still remember making mosaics of Bible stories from dyed, crushed eggshells. Since that time I have taken part in VBS as a volunteer, mainly learning and singing worship songs with the kids. VBS is not only way for kids to have summer fun but also for them to learn about God’s love for them and to experience God’s love.

    Thank you for your prayers. God bless and keep you and be gracious to you this day and every day..

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