Prayer and Faith – Twins

Faith and PrayerAs I lead our church through a season of prayer (and pray and plead for them to join me in prayer) I’ve decided to read E.M. Bound’s complete work on prayer. So far, wow!

Here’s a teaching outline and some thoughts that have come out of that so far.

Unless we come to place where we’re ready to rest our lives, daily, solely in the care of God, we will not come to the place of fervent, diligent prayer. Prayer begins and ends with faith.

Below is an outline I’ve written based upon the first chapter of E.M. Bounds “The Necessity of Prayer” from my copy of The Complete Works of E. M. Bounds on Prayer. All quotes that are not Scripture are from Bounds.

Prayer that is fueled by faith is:

  1. Diligent
    1. “But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.” (Hebrews 11:6, NKJV)
    2. Faith is the foundation of prayer and prayer grows faith. The two are inseparable. Without the one you cannot have the other.
  2. Sure of the God to whom it prays.
    1. Prayer that is by faith gives up first on self-sufficiency.
    2. “The faith which creates powerful praying is the faith which centers itself on a powerful person. Faith in Christ’s ability to do and to do greatly, is the faith which prays greatly.”
  3. Based upon the work that Christ is already doing.
    1. The only way to guarantee God answering prayer is a prayer that based upon faith in what God is doing, and join in on that.
    2. We will never truly understand verses like: John 14:14, “If you ask anything in my name I will do it,” without understanding this truth.
  4. Waits on God to answer
    1. When we pray by faith we don’t grow disheartened because God hasn’t answered right away.  (We should grow disheartened if God doesn’t answer a prayer we never prayed). Praying by faith trusts that God will answer when our prayer, by faith, matches His purpose that gives us that faith. E. M. Bound says that it’s a privilege to pray and wait on God to answer.
    2. Waiting in faith grows your faith
  5. Prays for today’s present need
    1. Bounds says that we don’t need to pray today for tomorrow’s bread, just for today’s. “The present is ours, the future belongs to God…We cannot have tomorrow’s grace, we cannot eat tomorrow’s bread, we cannot to do tomorrow’s praying. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof; and, most assuredly, if we possess faith, sufficient also, will be the good.”

21 Days

Tomorrow (Wednesday, February 19) we will begin 21 days of deliberate prayer as a church. This is a challenge for all who are willing to join in (and I hope you’re willing) to begin to pray in unity for specifics people or topics each day. Each day I will update on this blog the prayer for that day and I’m asking you to join in prayer with me.

Here’s some ways you can get involved:

  1. Participate in praying (deliberately)[1] each day. 
  2. Share this with someone else you know or someone else in our church. Share this link on Facebook. (Wouldn’t it be awesome if this went viral?)
  3. Click the “follow” button to the right on this blog and receive an email each day as it is updated. 
  4. Leave comments on the blog page each day about your prayer, who you’re praying for and how God may be working in your life through prayer.
  5. Come to 10:30 AM worship service ready to enter into a season of prayer with your church family.

The goal of these 21 days is not to pray self-centered prayers but Christ-centnered, others-minded prayers. John wrote, “And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us.” (1 John 5:14, ESV)

I’ll leave you with these words from E.M. Bounds written in his famous book on prayer:

“What a world of natural praying there is, which is selfish, self-centered, self-inspired! The Spirit, when he prays through us, or helps us to meet the mighty ‘ougtness’[2] of right praying, trims our praying down to the will of God, and then we give heart and expression to his unutterable groanings.”

Can’t wait to see what God does in us and through us because of just 21 days!

[1] Deliberate prayer is a time when you stop and devote your full attention to praying to God. This is not in the car, at your desk at work, ect. This is taking the time to do nothing else but pray.

[2] Luke 18:1 “And he told them a parable to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart.