The Prayer Closet

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An Excerpt from “Power Through Prayer” by E. M. Bounds and my commentary……….

The preacher’s sharpest and strongest preaching should be to himself. His most difficult, delicate, laborious, and thorough work must be with himself. The training of the twelve was the great, difficult, and enduring work of Christ. Preachers are not sermon-makers, but men-makers, and saint-makers. Only he who has made himself a man and a saint is well-trained for this business. God does not need great talents, great learning, or great preachers, but men great in holiness, great in faith, great in love, great in fidelity, great for God. He needs men who are always preaching holy sermons in the pulpit and living holy lives out of it. These can mold a great generation for God.

After this order, the early Christians were formed. They were men of solid mold, preachers after the heavenly type–heroic, stalwart, soldierly, saintly. To them, preaching meant self-denying, self-crucifying, serious, toilsome, martyr business. They applied themselves to it in a way that influenced their generation and formed in its womb a generation yet unborn for God. The preaching man is to be the praying man. Prayer is the preacher’s mightiest weapon. An almighty force in itself, it gives life and force to all.

The real sermon is made in the closet. The man—God’s man—is made in the closet. His life and his most profound convictions are born in his secret communion with God. The burdened and tearful agony of his spirit, his weightiest and sweetest messages are received when alone with God. Prayer makes the man; prayer makes the preacher; prayer makes the pastor.

The pulpit of this day is weak in praying. The pride of learning is in opposition to the dependent humility of prayer. In the pulpit, prayer is all too often only official—a performance for the routine of service. In the modern pulpit, prayer is not the mighty force it was in Paul’s life or ministry. Every preacher who does not make prayer a mighty factor in his own life and ministry is weak as a factor in God’s work and is powerless to advance God’s cause in this world.

From E.M. Bounds in his book, “Power Through Prayer”

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