For this National Day of Prayer I was stirred to read Power through Prayer. Here are some paragraphs that strike the chord of prayer and wake the sleepless from their slumber. The problems of our nation go far beyond the economic issues, deeper than social disorder, and higher than political change. The problem lies in prayerlessness:
"If I shut up heaven so no rain falls, or if I command locusts to devour the land, or if I send pestilence among My people, if My people, who are called by My name, shall humble themselves, pray, seek, crave, and require of necessity My face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven, forgive their sin, and heal their land. Now My eyes will be open and My ears attentive to prayer offered in this place." 2 Chronicles 7:13-15
History is not made nor countries changed by mere activities of the political machine or the campaign of great armies, but history is made and mountains are moved in the quiet prayer closet of the weak saint moved by the Spirit in prayer.
Enjoy these quotes...
An eminent historian has said that the accidents of personal character have more to do with the revolutions of nations than either philosophic historians or politicians will admit. This truth applies to the gospel of Christ; the character and conduct of the followers of Christ can Christianize the world, transfigure nations and individuals.” (E.M.Bounds, 1989. Page 15.)
“Real ministry is made in the closet of prayer; God's men and women are made in secret. Their lives and their profoundest convictions are born in their secret communion with God. The burdened and tearful agony of their spirits, their weightiest and sweetest messages come form time alone with God. “The church today is weak in praying. The pride of learning is against the dependent humility of prayer. Prayer is with the church too often only official—a performance for the routine of service.” (E.M.Bounds, 1989. Page 17.)
“Ministry which kills is prayerless ministry. Without prayer we create death, and not life... Professional praying in the worship service will always exist, but professional praying helps the dead word do its deadly work. Professional praying chills and kills both the word and true prayer.” (E.M.Bounds, 1989. Page 29.)
“No learning can make up for the failure to pray. No earnestness, no diligence, no study will supply its lack... Talking to others for God is a great thing. But talking to God for others is greater still. We will never speak to people for God with real success until we have learned how to speak to God for people.” (E.M.Bounds, 1989. Page 36.)
“True praying engages and sets fire every high element of the Christian's being. Prayer is born out of vital oneness with Christ and the fullness of the Holy Ghost. It springs from the deep, overflowing fountains of tender compassion and concern for humanity's eternal good. True prayer is a consuming zeal for the glory of God; it involves a thorough conviction of the difficult and delicate work of the ministry and the imperative need of God's help....only ministry backed by such praying sow the seeds of eternal life in human hearts and builds others up for heaven.” “We may excuse our spiritual poverty in many ways, but the reason will be found in the lack of urgent prayer for God's presence in the power of the Spirit.” (E.M.Bounds, 1989. Pages 40-41.)
“...perhaps little praying is worse than no praying. Little praying is a kind of make-believe, a salve for the conscience, a farce, and a delusion.” (E.M.Bounds, 1989. Page 42.)
“Christians who gain lasting results for God are those who have prevailed in their pleadings with God before venturing to plead with others.” (E.M.Bounds, 1989. Page 41.)
“A ministry may be a very thoughtful ministry without prayer; we may secure fame and popularity without prayer; our lives may be run with the oil of prayer or with scarcely enough to grease a single cog. But no ministry can be a spiritual one, resulting in holiness, without prayer as an evident and controlling force.” (E.M.Bounds, 1989. Page 45.)
“A prepared heart is better than a prepared teaching, for a prepared heart will result in a prepared teaching. ...we do not meditate on God and his Word and watch and fast and pray enough.” (E.M.Bounds, 1989. Page 74.)
“He who has prayed well has studied well.” (Martin Luther quoted in E.M.Bounds, 1989. Page 76.)
“While the channel of ministry is the mind, its fountain is the heart.” (E.M.Bounds, 1989. Page 76.)
“Anointing comes not to the study but to the closet. It is heaven's answer to prayer… The anointing is not the gift of genius. It is not found in the halls of learning. No eloquence can woo it. No industry can win it. No hands can confer it. It is the gift of God—the royal signet given to the King's own messengers. It is heaven's knighthood offered to the chosen true and brave ones who have sought this honor through many an hour of tearful, wrestling prayer.” (E.M.Bounds, 1989. Pages 86-87.)
“Give me one hundred preachers who fear nothing but sin and desire nothing but God, and I care not a straw whether they be clergymen or laymen; such alone will shake the gates of hell and set up the kingdom of heaven on earth. God does nothing but in answer to prayer.” (John Wesley quoted in E.M.Bounds, 1989. Page 97.)
“If some Christians that have been complaining of their ministers had... risen and stormed heaven with their humble, fervent, and incessant prayers for them, they would have been much more in the way of success.” (Jonathan Edwards quoted in E.M.Bounds, 1989. Page 103.)
“Prayer is one of the primary characteristics of strong spiritual leadership. People of powerful prayer are people who mold history. Their power with God has the conquering tread.
... “A prayerless ministry is the undertaker for God's truth and for God's church. We may have the most costly casket and the most beautiful flowers, but it is a funeral nevertheless. Ages of millennial glory have been lost by prayerlessness; the coming of our Lord has been postponed indefinitely by lack of prayer, and hell has enlarged and filled its dire caves in the presence of the dead service of a prayerless church.” (E.M.Bounds, 1989. Page 100.)
“Prayer to the pastor or preacher, is not simply the duty of his profession, a privilege; it is a necessity, like air to the lungs. It is absolutely necessary for the spiritual leader to pray. And it is equally necessary that the leader be prayed for. The two propositions are wedded into a union which ought never to know any divorce: the leader must pray; the leader must be prayed for.” (E.M.Bounds, 1989. Page 103.)
“Paul, with his clear and full apprehension of spiritual dynamics, determined to make his ministry as impressive, as eternal, as irresistible as the ocean. Paul's pre-eminence in labor and results, in influence on the church and the world, is found in the fact that he was able to center himself and his ministry on the prayers of others.” (E.M.Bounds, 1989. Pages 104-105. See: Romans 15:30, Ephesians 6:18-19, Colosians 4:3, 1Thessalonians 5:25, 2Corinthians 1:11, 2Thessalonians 3:1-2, Phillipians 1:19, Philemon 22.)
“The praying ones are to the leader as Aaron and Hur were to Moses––they hold up the hands that decide the outcome of the battle raging around them (Exodus 17:11-13). (E.M.Bounds, 1989. Page 106.)
“Spiritual work is taxing work. Praying, true praying, costs an outlay of serious attention and of time, which flesh and blood do not relish. Few persons are made of such strong fiber that they willingly give their all when a surface effort will do. We can accustom ourselves to mediocre praying until it looks acceptable to us. At least it keeps up a decent form and quiets the conscience. But such a habit is a deadly opiate; we can neglect prayer and not notice the danger until the foundations are gone.” (E.M.Bounds, 1989. Page 110.)
“Our ability to stay with God in the closet measures our ability to stay with him out of the closet...
“To pray is the greatest thing we can do; and to do it well we must have calmness, time and deliberation.” (E.M.Bounds, 1989. Page 111.)
“Non-praying is lawlessness, discord, anarchy. Prayer, in the moral government of God, is as strong and far-reaching as the law of gravitation in the material world, and it is as necessary as gravitation to hold things in their proper sphere and in life.” (E.M.Bounds, 1980.)