Once in a while I'll pull a book from my bookshelf and thumb through the pages, looking at various thoughts I've highlighted. Since I do this for personal edification, I thought maybe others might also be encouraged and challenged by some of these highlights.
The book I'm pulling highlights from is The Complete Works of E.M. Bounds on Prayer. E.M. Bounds (1835-1913) was a lawyer and pastor in the Methodist Episcopal Church, the denomination I grew up in. In his lifetime, he wrote eleven books. The eight I'm familiar with are all on prayer.
Here are some quotes that resonate with me. Maybe they will resonate with you, too.
"Talking to men for God is a great thing, but talking to God for men is greater still. He will never talk well and with real success to men for God who has not learned well how to talk to God for men."
"Men are God's method. The church is looking for better methods; God is looking for better men... what the church needs today is not more machinery or better, not new organizations or more novel methods, but men whom the Holy Spirit can use -- men of prayer, men mighty in prayer."
"Prayer affects all things. God blesses the person who prays."
"Not at once does God always give the full answer to prayer, but rather progressively, step by step." (Mark 8:22)
"Prayer is the appointed condition of getting God's aid."
"He has not promised to do something general if we pray, but he has promised to do the very thing for which we pray."
"Nothing can break through the encampment without the permission of the captain of the Lord's hosts. Sorrows, afflictions, want, trouble, or even death, cannot enter this divine encampment without the consent of Almighty God, and even then it is to be used by God in his plans for the good of his saints and for the carrying out of his plans and purposes."
"Success is sure to follow a church given to much prayer. The supernatural element in the church, without which it must fail, comes only through prayer. More time, in this busy bustling age, must be given to prayer by a God-called church. More thought must be given to prayer in this thoughtless, silly age of superficial religion."
"God is more ready, more willing and more anxious to give the answer than man is to give the asking. The possibilities of prayer lie in the ability of man to ask large things and in the ability of God to give large things."
"God's only condition and limitations of prayer is found in the character of the one who prays."
"We can have the whole of him when he has the whole of us."
"How well assured the answer to prayer is, when that answer is to glorify God the Father!"
"There is no proof so clear and demonstrative that God exists than prayer and its answer. This was Elijah's plea: 'Hear me, O Lord, hear me, that this people may know that thou art the Lord God.'"
"It is the answer which brings glory to his name".