E.M. Bounds wrote about prayer and the church more than a century ago, but these warnings from The Weapon Prayer are still relevant for preachers today:
- "Sacred work—church activities—may so engage and absorb us as to hinder praying, and when this is the case, evil results always follow. It is better to let the work go by default than to let the praying go by neglect. ... How easy to neglect prayer or abbreviate our praying simply by the plea that we have Church work on our hands. Satan has effectively disarmed us when he can keep us too busy doing things to stop and pray."
- "Praying preachers have always brought the greater glory to God, have moved His gospel onward with its greatest, speediest rate and power. A non-praying preacher and a non-praying church may flourish outwardly and advance in many aspects of their life. Both preacher and church may become synonyms for success, but unless it rest on a praying basis all success will eventually crumble into deadened life and ultimate decay."
- "Preachers of the present age excel those of the past in many, possibly in all, human elements of success. They are well abreast of the age in learning, research and intellectual vigor. But these things neither ensure 'power from on high' nor guarantee a live, thriving religious experience or righteous life. ... Herein lies the great danger menacing the pulpit of today. All around us we see a tendency to substitute human gifts and worldly attainments for that supernatural, inward power which comes from on high in answer to earnest prayer."
Preacher, what is the condition of your prayer life today?
For the original article, visit chucklawless.com.
Chuck Lawless is dean of doctoral studies and vice president of spiritual formation and ministry centers at Southeastern Seminary in Wake Forest, North Carolina, where he also serves as professor of evangelism and missions. In addition, he is team leader for theological education strategists for the International Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention.
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