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Sunday, October 21, 2012

Prayer and God's Work, part 1, by E. M. Bounds

God has a great work on hand in this world. This work is involved in the plan of salvation. It embraces redemption and providence. God is governing this world, with its intelligent beings, for His own glory and for their good. What, then, is God’s work in this world? Rather what is the end He seeks in His great work? It is nothing short of holiness of heart and life in the children of fallen Adam. Man is a fallen creature, born with an evil nature, with an evil bent, unholy propensities, sinful desires, wicked inclinations. Man is unholy by nature,
born so. “They go astray as soon as they be born, speaking lies.”
God’s entire plan is to take hold of fallen man and to seek to change him and make him holy. God’s work is to make holy men out of unholy men. This is the very end of Christ coming into the world:
“For this purpose was the Son of God manifested that he might destroy the works of the devil.”
God is holy in nature and in all His ways, and He wants to make man like Himself.
“As he who hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; because it is written, Be ye holy, for I am holy.”
This is being Christlike. This is following Jesus Christ. This is the aim of all Christian effort. This is the earnest, heartfelt desire of every truly regenerated soul. This is what is to be constantly and earnestly prayed for. It is that we may be made holy. Not that we must make ourselves holy, but we must be cleansed from all sin by the precious atoning blood of Christ, and be made holy by the direct agency of the Holy Spirit. Not that we are to do holy, but rather to be holy. Being must precede doing. First be, then do. First, obtain a holy heart, then live a holy life. And for this high and gracious end God has made the most ample provisions in the atoning work of our Lord and through the agency of the Holy Spirit. - 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.

2 comments:

i am Grateful... Kerry i am. said...

I've been reading much from Andrew Murray this year. Seems the old writers always move my mind and my heart. (Like E.M. Bounds). Thanks for the post. All Joy.

Martin LaBar said...

Yes, I think there are good reasons why their work is still available.