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Sunday, March 17, 2013

Prayer Born of Compassion, part 3

But compassion has not alone to do with the body and its disabilities and needs. The soul’s distressing state, its needs and danger all appeal to compassion. The highest state of grace is known by the infallible mark of compassion for poor sinners. This sort of compassion belongs to grace, and sees not alone the bodies of men, but their immortal spirits, soiled by sin, unhappy in their condition without God, and in imminent peril of being forever lost. When compassion beholds this sight of dying men hurrying to the bar of God, then it is that it breaks out into intercessions for sinful men.

The Prophet Jeremiah declares this about God, giving the reason why sinners are not consumed by His wrath:
“It is of the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, because his compassion fail not.”


And it is this Divine quality in us which makes us so much like God. So we find the Psalmist describing the righteous man who is pronounced blessed by God: “He is gracious and full of compassion, and righteous.” 

And as giving great encouragement to penitent praying sinners, the Psalmist thus records some of the striking attributes of the Divine character: “The Lord is gracious and full of compassion, slow to anger, and of great mercy.”

It is no wonder, then, that we find it recorded several times of our Lord while on earth that “he was moved with compassion.” Can any one doubt that His compassion moved Him to pray for those suffering, sorrowing ones who came across His pathway?

- 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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