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dougkristen
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Joined: 2004/1/28
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 MEN OF PRAYER NEEDED

I thought you might enjoy this encouraging article on the subject of prayer.

Grace,
Doug Renz

MEN OF PRAYER NEEDED
by E. M. Bounds

XIX. DELIBERATION NECESSARY TO LARGEST RESULTS FROM PRAYER
This perpetual hurry of business and company ruins me in soul if not in body. More solitude and earlier hours! I suspect I have been allotting habitually too little time to religious exercises, as private devotion and religious meditation, Scripture-reading, etc. Hence I am lean and cold and hard. I had better allot two hours or an hour and a half daily. I have been keeping too late hours, and hence have had but a hurried half hour in a morning to myself. Surely the experience of all good men confirms the proposition that without a due measure of private devotions the soul will grow lean. But all may be done through prayer-almighty prayer, I am ready to say-and why not? For that it is almighty is only through the gracious ordination of the God of love and truth. O then, pray, pray, pray!-WILLIAM WILBERFORCE

OUR devotions are not measured by the clock, but time is of their essence. The ability to wait and stay and press belongs essentially to our intercourse with God. Hurry, everywhere unseeming and damaging, is so to an alarming extent in the great business of communion with God. Short devotions are the bane of deep piety. Calmness, grasp, strength, are never the companions of hurry. Short devotions deplete spiritual vigor, arrest spiritual progress, sap spiritual foundations, blight the root and bloom of spiritual life. They are the prolific source of backsliding, the sure indication of a superficial piety; they deceive, blight, rot the seed, and impoverish the soil.

It is true that Bible prayers in word and print are short, but the praying men of the Bible were with God through many a sweet and holy wrestling hour. They won by few words but long waiting. The prayers Moses records may be short, but Moses prayed to God with fastings and mighty cryings forty days and nights.

The statement of Elijah's praying may be condensed to a few brief paragraphs, but doubtless Elijah, who when "praying he prayed," spent many hours of fiery struggle and lofty intercourse with God before he could, with assured boldness, say to Ahab, "There shall not be dew nor rain these years, but according to my word." The verbal brief of Paul's prayers is short, but Paul "prayed night and day exceedingly." The "Lord's Prayer" is a divine epitome for infant lips, but the man Christ Jesus prayed many an all-night ere his work was done; and his all-night and long-sustained devotions gave to his work its finish and perfection, and to his character the fullness and glory of its divinity.

Spiritual work is taxing work, and men are loath to do it. 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 will make a costly outlay when surface work will pass as well in the market. We can habituate ourselves to our beggarly praying until it looks well to us, at least it keeps up a decent form and quiets conscience-the deadliest of opiates! We can slight our praying, and not realize the peril till the foundations are gone. Hurried devotions make weak faith, feeble convictions, questionable piety. To be little with God is to be little for God. To cut short the praying makes the whole religious character short, scrimp, niggardly, and slovenly.

It takes good time for the full flow of God into the spirit. Short devotions cut the pipe of God's full flow. It takes time in the secret places to get the full revelation of God. Little time and hurry mar the picture.

Henry Martyn laments that "want of private devotional reading and shortness of prayer through incessant sermon-making had produced much strangeness between God and his soul." He judged that he had dedicated too much time to public ministrations and too little to private communion with God. He was much impressed to set apart times for fasting and to devote times for solemn prayer. Resulting from this he records: "Was assisted this morning to pray for two hours." Said William Wilberforce, the peer of kings: "I must secure more time for private devotions. I have been living far too public for me. The shortening of private devotions starves the soul; it grows lean and faint. I have been keeping too late hours." Of a failure in Parliament he says: "Let me record my grief and shame, and all, probably, from private devotions having been contracted, and so God let me stumble." More solitude and earlier hours was his remedy.

More time and early hours for prayer would act like magic to revive and invigorate many a decayed spiritual life. More time and early hours for prayer would be manifest in holy living. A holy life would not be so rare or so difficult a thing if our devotions were not so short and hurried. A Christly temper in its sweet and passionless fragrance would not be so alien and hopeless a heritage if our closet stay were lengthened and intensified. We live shabbily because we pray meanly. Plenty of time to feast in our closets will bring marrow and fatness to our lives. Our ability to stay with God in our closet measures our ability to stay with God out of the closet. Hasty closet visits are deceptive, defaulting. We are not only deluded by them, but we are losers by them in many ways and in many rich legacies. Tarrying in the closet instructs and wins. We are taught by it, and the greatest victories are often the results of great waiting-waiting till words and plans are exhausted, and silent and patient waiting gains the crown. Jesus Christ asks with an affronted emphasis, "Shall not God avenge his own elect which cry day and night unto him?"

To pray is the greatest thing we can do: and to do it well there must be calmness, time, and deliberation; otherwise it is degraded into the littlest and meanest of things. True praying has the largest results for good; and poor praying, the least. We cannot do too much of real praying; we cannot do too little of the sham. We must learn anew the worth of prayer, enter anew the school of prayer. There is nothing which it takes more time to learn. And if we would learn the wondrous art, we must not give a fragment here and there-"A little talk with Jesus," as the tiny saintlets sing-but we must demand and hold with iron grasp the best hours of the day for God and prayer, or there will be no praying worth the name.

This, however, is not a day of prayer. Few men there are who pray. Prayer is defamed by preacher and priest. In these days of hurry and bustle, of electricity and steam, men will not take time to pray. Preachers there are who "say prayers" as a part of their programme, on regular or state occasions; but who "stirs himself up to take hold upon God?" Who prays as Jacob prayed-till he is crowned as a prevailing, princely intercessor? Who prays as Elijah prayed-till all the locked-up forces of nature were unsealed and a famine-stricken land bloomed as the garden of God? Who prayed as Jesus Christ prayed as out upon the mountain he "continued all night in prayer to God?" The apostles "gave themselves to prayer"-the most difficult thing to get men or even the preachers to do. Laymen there are who will give their money-some of them in rich abundance-but they will not "give themselves" to prayer, without which their money is but a curse. There are plenty of preachers who will preach and deliver great and eloquent addresses on the need of revival and the spread of the kingdom of God, but not many there are who will do that without which all preaching and organizing are worse than vain-pray. It is out of date, almost a lost art, and the greatest benefactor this age could have is the man who will bring the preachers and the Church back to prayer.


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a Jesus freak

 2004/4/24 19:36Profile
moreofHim
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Joined: 2003/10/15
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 Re: MEN OF PRAYER NEEDED

This is a great article! I have one more thing that comes to mind that is needed: Men of Holy Lives!

This is what is needed so desperately, especially in America and the surrounding area. Not only praying men- anyone can pray- but not all are willing to live- ACTUALLY LIVE OUT A HOLY LIFE. I don't mean this in terms of legalism. I am talking about a surrendered life. A laying down of one's life (your wants, dreams, wishes, preferences, etc...) for the good of others. So that they may see Christ through you. So that you may be a good example and worthy of following after.

Yes, we need women as well- which is what my mission is- to call women to this- but men should be the ultimate leaders- the ultimate examples.

We desperately need this, men!!! I see many women who have gotten this message about surrender and holiness and are willing to do what it takes- children too. But where are the men? There are only a few- not enough.

Oh, I pray that many more men will answer this call to complete and total surrender of their lives and will- for the good of others. For us as women and for our children.

My heart is literally aching for the men to rise up do their job too. It all starts at home, in the privacy of your own heart and home.

I don't mean to be negative towrds the men here at all.I know there are quite a few wonderful guys on here who are giving themselves over to the Lord to do as He wills. I am grateful and so encouraged by this.

I'll get off the soap box now. ;-)

Walking with Him, Chanin


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Chanin

 2004/4/25 11:47Profile
bigdaveusa
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 Re:

How true that we need men of holy lives. Men who lack personal holiness don't pray. It's a prerequisite for a praying man to be a holy man. Bless you Chanin for that astute observation! :-)


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Dave

 2004/4/25 14:57Profile
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 Re:

Quote:
It takes good time for the full flow of God into the spirit. Short devotions cut the pipe of God's full flow. It takes time in the secret places to get the full revelation of God. Little time and hurry mar the picture.


Is it possible in our generation of fast paced answers and acquistion of knoweldge that we have lost the greatness and majesty of the God we serve. We are turning Him into what our minds want Him to be, a God who will hear our prayers when we want, and be there to give us our spiritual nuggets when we desire them. This is making God to be a God of our own imaginations.


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SI Moderator - Greg Gordon

 2004/4/25 22:12Profile
KeithLaMothe
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 Re:

Quote:

Is it possible in our generation of fast paced answers and acquistion of knoweldge that we have lost the greatness and majesty of the God we serve.

Many of the Christians I know either have lost or never had a proper fear of God (often they believe that they aren't supposed to fear Him anymore, only revere and obey Him), and more than a few, whether they realize it or not, have also lost their reverence of Him, doing things they would never do if they knew what He thought.

Quote:
We are turning Him into what our minds want Him to be, a God who will hear our prayers when we want, and be there to give us our spiritual nuggets when we desire them. This is making God to be a God of our own imaginations.

In one word, an idol.

 2004/4/25 22:51Profile
Chad
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Joined: 2003/11/17
Posts: 56
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 Re:

What we need in today's church is a revelation of God's holiness and majesty. We need to be made aware of God and what He is. The way for that is for righteous men to rise up and pray, (or fall facedown...) :-) and [i][color=000099]absolute[/color][/i] surrender to God's will.

As an example of the blatant lack of respect for an awesome God- there is a term that says "Jesus is my homeboy" (or homie- whatever) it is on trucker hats and pins, t-shirts and everything. In itself it could be a phrase that states one's closeness to the LORD.
As it is, though, it is worn my movie stars across breat implants- or it is worn by "cultural Christians- and it is a fad--- much like WWJD-

God is seen as real, but "the man upstairs" noone stops to take the time to see the power and splendor that robes our God.
In such a pagan society that can say "God Bless America" and take God's name in vain in the same sentence with expletives, men (AND WOMEN) of prayer are indeed needed.

Righteous people whose hearts long for Christ to once again be loved by the people He has so blessed- join in prayer for first our church- without true power and a walk with God we CANNOT be an example to a sick and dying world- of which we are all well aware. Then pray that He would show us the lost, hungry, the ones that He Himself took a liking to when HE walked the Earth.
In the Bond of prayer in Jesus' Name-
Chad


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Chad Lough

 2004/4/27 10:10Profile
crsschk
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 Re:

Well this is just outstanding.

Have read this before and glad that it has been brought to light once again.

Love the fact that he doesn't skirt the issues.
Prayer is HARD work.
It is war [i]and[/i] peace.
You would think that men would be drawn to this in the sense of that it is almost something to conquer, to lay hold of. To get anywhere with the Lord we cannot be passive.

In studying the book of Hebrews I am becoming better related to the fact that Jesus was a [i]man[/i] on this earth, He divested Himself and took on our condition without the sin nature, but in all points was tempted yet did not sin. He is our example. He suffered, He struggled, He PRAYED!
Are we to think that we can do better without the power of the Holy Spirit, without knowing the mind of the Lord, without prolonged prayer?

Quote:
Spiritual work is taxing work, and men are loath to do it. 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 will make a costly outlay when surface work will pass as well in the market. We can habituate ourselves to our beggarly praying until it looks well to us, at least it keeps up a decent form and quiets conscience-the deadliest of opiates! We can slight our praying, and not realize the peril till the foundations are gone. Hurried devotions make weak faith, feeble convictions, questionable piety. To be little with God is to be little for God. To cut short the praying makes the whole religious character short, scrimp, niggardly, and slovenly.



Real men pray.


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Mike Balog

 2004/4/27 11:12Profile
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[img align=left]http://www.sermonindex.net/images/embounds.jpg[/img][b]The Complete Works of E. M. Bounds on Prayer: Experience the Wonders of God Through Prayer[/b] - I just got this book today and have read already through the first few chapters. I has an wonderful introduction by Jim Cymbala and this author was one of the favorites of Leonard Ravenhill. The language has been made abit more contemparary and reads very easily! this 550+ page volume contains the 7 books that E.M. Bounds wrote on prayer. Its interesting to note that only 2 of his books were in print during his lifetime: [i]Power Through Prayer (orginally called: Preacher and Prayer)[/i] (I think this is a great book to buy for a present or gift for your preacher, pastor. and the second book was [i]The ressurection[/i]. I am looking forward to quickly reading through the rest of this entire volume, this man's writings stir me to prayer again and again.

Get the book below:
The Complete Works of E. M. Bounds on Prayer: Experience the Wonders of God Through Prayer


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SI Moderator - Greg Gordon

 2004/4/27 15:35Profile
InTheLight
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 Re:

Quote:
He divested Himself and took on our condition without the sin nature, but in all points was tempted yet did not sin. He is our example. He suffered, He struggled, He PRAYED!
Are we to think that we can do better without the power of the Holy Spirit, without knowing the mind of the Lord, without prolonged prayer?



This reminds me of the following verses;

[i]Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise. For the Father loveth the Son, and sheweth him all things that himself doeth: and he will shew him greater works than these, that ye may marvel...I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me.[/i] (John 5:19-20,30)

Jesus was God in flesh yet He needed the Father's direction in everything, how could He expect anything less of us? How much more do we need help and guidance for every step?

In Christ,

Ron


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Ron Halverson

 2004/4/27 16:19Profile
Chad
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 Re:

Prayer is the very connection that we have to God. He guides us, encourages us, rebukes us, all when we pray.
Prayer is more than a formula to get God's blessing, (The Prayer of Jabez book thing bothers me...)in 2 Chronicles it gives my favorite description in scripture of prayer... it covers humility, desperation, repentance and God's added blessing. We need not pray for blessings but seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness...
And by the way...
Jabez asked for a blessing but he was more righteous than his bretheren... When we chant out that prayer, "Oh that you would bless me..." do we forget to examine our walks to see if we are righteous and trustworthy to return God's blessings to Him? (LUKE 12:48)

That was a sidenote, another discussion in itself... but a [i]VERY[/i] important reminder of how we pray and how we should pray, which are very often 2 seperate things.

Prayer is needed. Now more than ever, we need to cover our faces in the shame of our ways and in guilt fess up to our crimes and beg for and accept forgiveness, sanctification, and those who do do that, you can't backtrack God's work, so pray for the Holy Ghost, if you have, pray for the Holy Ghost again, if you do that, pray for the Holy Ghost to fall upon all those who want to serve Christ but have never been baptized into the Holy Ghost...

Daily, momentary situation-by-situation prayer until we have nothing, no defense, no reason, no identity outside of this saving Gospel.

May God give us more of this passion and dedication and cnsecration unto Himself.

Bless His name forever!

Chad


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Chad Lough

 2004/4/29 10:14Profile





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