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Sunday, September 30, 2012

Prayer and Trouble, Part 12, by E. M. Bounds

Paul, in urging patience in tribulation, connects it directly with prayer, as if prayer alone would place us where we could be patient when tribulation comes. “Rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing instant in prayer.” He here couples up tribulation and prayer, showing their close relationship and the worth of prayer in begetting and culturing patience in tribulation. In fact there can be no patience exemplified when trouble comes, only as it is secured through instant and continued prayer. In the school of prayer is where patience
is learned and practiced.


Prayer brings us into that state of grace where tribulation is not only endured, but where there is under it a spirit of rejoicing. In showing the gracious benefits of justification, in Romans 5:3, Paul says:
 

“And not only so, but we glory in tribulation also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; and patience, experience; and experience, hope; and hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.”

What a chain of graces are here set forth as flowing from tribulation! What successive
steps to a high state of religious experience! And what rich fruits result from even painful
tribulation!


To the same effect are the words of Peter in his First Epistle, in his strong prayer for those Christians to whom he writes; thus showing that suffering and the highest state of grace are closely connected; and intimating that it is through suffering we are to be brought to those higher regions of Christian experience:

“But the God of all grace, who hath called us into his eternal glory, by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered awhile, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen and settle you.”


It is in the fires of suffering that God purifies His saints and brings them to the highest things. It is in the furnace their faith is tested, their patience is tried, and they are developed in all those rich virtues which make up Christian character. It is while they are passing through deep waters that He shows how close He can come to His praying, believing saints.
From The Essentials of Prayer, by E. M. Bounds.

Although E. M. Bounds died in 1913, this book was first published in 1925, by an admirer of the author's life. Bounds was known for praying from four until seven each morning.

This post is one of a series, taken from The Essentials of Prayer, by Bounds. Found through the Christian Classics Ethereal Library, here. The Essentials of Prayer is in the public domain. The previous post in the entire series on the book is here. Thanks for reading. Read this book, and, more importantly, practice, prayer.

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