The Essentials of Prayer
How Christians Ought to Pray
New, updated, and annotated edition.
And the very God of peace sanctify you completely, that your spirit, soul, and body be preserved whole without reprehension for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Thessalonians 5:23)
Christians who pray well, who bring the largest things to pass, and who move God to do great things, are those who are entirely given over to God in their praying. God wants, and must have, all that there is in us. We must be wholehearted people through whom he can work out his purposes and plans concerning us. God must have us in our entirety. No double-minded people need apply. No vacillating person can be used. No person with a divided allegiance to God, the world, and self can do the praying that is needed. Holiness is wholeness, and so God wants holy people – wholehearted and true – for his service and for the work of praying.
This book challenges the reader to first make sure he is ready to pray, and it also shows from Scripture when and how we ought to pray. E. M. Bounds examines the lack of prayer and its causes, but he also includes examples of answered prayer to give hope to those who feel like their prayers aren't being answered. Some may experience guilt for their lack and inconsistency of prayer, but sincere Christians will also be stirred in their heart to pray, and to pray well.
About the Author
Edward McKendree Bounds was born in Shelby County, Missouri, on August 15, 1835, and died on August 24, 1913, in Washington, Georgia. He was admitted to the bar in 1854 at the age of nineteen, but left the profession five years later when he answered the call of God to the ministry. Beginning in 1863, in the midst of the Civil War, he became the chaplain of the 5th Missouri Regiment of the Confederacy.
Bounds married Miss Emmie Barnett of Eufaula, Alabama, in 1876. By this union, he became the father of two daughters, Celeste and Corneille, and a son, Edward, who died at the age of six. His wife Emmie died in 1886, and later Bounds married Miss Hattie Barnett, Emmie’s cousin. Together they had six children: Samuel, Charles, Osborne, Elizabeth, Mary, and Emmie. However, Charles died at the age of one, so in the end, the family consisted of seven children.
After serving several important churches in St. Louis and other places to the south, Bounds became editor of the St. Louis Christian Advocate for eight years and, later, associate editor of The Nashville Christian Advocate for four years. The trial of his faith came while he was in Nashville, and he quietly retired to his home without even asking for a pension. His principal work in Washington, Georgia (his home), was rising at four o’clock in the morning and praying until seven o’clock. He filled a few engagements as an evangelist during the eighteen years of his life work in Washington, Georgia.