Focus 3: Living shabbily, praying meagerly 

– By E.M. Bounds –

I believe that what the church needs today is not more or better machinery, not new organizations or more novel methods. She needs Christians whom the Holy Spirit can use—Christians of prayer, Christians mighty in prayer. The Holy Spirit does not flow through methods, but through people. He does not come on machinery, but on people. He does not anoint plans, but people—people of prayer!

…Spiritual work is always taxing work, and Christians are loath to do it. True praying involves serious attention and time, which flesh and blood do not relish. Few people have such strong fiber that they will make a costly outlay when inferior work will pass just as well in the market. To be little with God is to be little for God. It takes much time for the fullness of God to flow in the spirit. Short devotions cut the pipe of God’s full flow. We live shabbily because we pray meagerly. This is not a day of prayer. Few Christians pray. In these days of hurry and bustle, of electricity and steam, men will not take time to pray. Prayer is out-of-date, almost a lost art.

Where are the Christ-like leaders who can teach modern saints how to pray and put them at it? Do we know that we are raising up a prayerless set of saints? Only praying leaders have praying followers. We greatly need somebody who can set the saints to this business of praying!

–E.M. Bounds (1835-1913) was a Methodist preacher and editor of the St. Louis Christian Advocate. He is most well-known for his books on prayer such as Power Through Prayer, Prayer and Praying Men, and Purpose In Prayer.

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