License

I have written an e-book, Does the Bible Really Say That?, which is free to anyone. To download that book, in several formats, go here.
Creative Commons License
The posts in this blog are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Prayer and a Definite Religious Standard, part 6

A Scriptural standard of religion includes a clear religious experience. Religion is nothing if not experimental. Religion appeals to the inner consciousness. It is an experience if anything at all, and an experience in addition to a religious life. There is the internal part of religion as well as the external. Not only are we to “work out our salvation with fear and trembling,” but “it is God that worketh in us to will and do of His good pleasure.” There is a “good work in you,” as well as a life outside to be lived. The new birth is a definite Christian experience, proved by infallible marks, appealing to the inner consciousness. The witness of the Spirit is not an indefinite, vague something, but is a definite, clear inward assurance given by the Holy Spirit that we are the children of God. In fact everything belonging to religious experience is clear and definite, bringing conscious joy, peace and love. And this is the Divine standard of religion, a standard attained by earnest, constant prayer, and a religious experience kept alive and enlarged by the same means of prayer.

An end to be gained, to which effort is to be directed, is important in every pursuit in order to give unity, energy and steadiness to it. In the Christian life, such an end is all important. Without a high standard before us to be gained, for which we are earnestly seeking, lassitude will unnerve effort, and past experience will taint or exhale into mere sentiment, or be hardened into cold, loveless principle.

We must go on. “Therefore, leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection.” The present ground we occupy must be held by making advances, and all the future must be covered and brightened by it. In religion, we must not only go on. We  must know where we are going to. This is all important. It is essential that in going on in religious experience, we have something definite in view, and strike out for that one point. To ever go on and not to know to which place we are going, is altogether too vague and indefinite, and is like a man who starts out on a journey and does not have any destination in view. It is important that we lose not sight of the starting point in a religious life, and that we measure the steps already trod. But it is likewise necessary that the end be kept in view and that the steps necessary to reach the standard be always in the eye.

- 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:

Pilgrim said...

It is amazing to hear how much time some of these people from generations past spent in prayer.

Martin LaBar said...

Yes, it is. I can't say that I spend that much time in prayer, unfortunately.

Thanks!