We can certainly miss the whole point of prayer. This is what E.M. Bounds makes a point of today.
E.M. Bound’s book, On Prayer, is considered a classic. The book I am reading is a compilation of his earlier works first published in 1912. He was born in 1935 and was originally a lawyer. He left law and became a Methodist pastor. I will post from his books often and then add my remarks.
He is a tough read and really challenges me as I’m sure he will you. He pulls no punches.
"The character of the inner life is a condition of effectual praying. As is the life, so will the praying be. An inconsistent life obstructs praying and neutralizes what little praying we may do. It must be fortified by a life aiming, unceasingly, to obey God.
Prayer which does not result in right thinking and right living is a farce. We miss the whole point of prayer if it fails to purge character and change conduct.
Praying must come out of a cleansed heart. The fruit of real praying is right living. “
My take on the point of prayer
Why do we pray if we don’t expect to see a change in our lives? Do we just pray for others and things without it occurring to us, that we are to be changed in the process? And I agree with Bounds, and God says it as well, that the more we lead a righteous life, and think righteous thoughts, our prayer life just naturally gets stronger. So it’s kind of like a circle of righteousness. If we continually engage in known sin, God might hear our prayers but will He answer them? God Himself states that He doesn’t respond to all prayers.
Righteous prayer leads to righteous living and righteous living leads back to righteous praying. That’s a word, righteousness, we don’t use often these days. Maybe we should.
Maybe we should take stock of the changes in our lives. Are there some positive ones we can point out?
How to self-monitor our prayer life.
I’m a big believer in monitoring my life. The self-examined life is important. How else will we know if we are improving in some areas if we don’t run a self-check now and then? How will we see the changes that are triggered by our prayer life?
For me, I’m going to use my Bullet Journal for this. Exactly how, I don’t know though.
Once I figure it out, I will certainly post about it.
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