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From: "REVIVAL List" <prophetic@...>
Date: Sat, 08 Sep 2012 00:51:01 +1200
-by David Smithers.    

E. M. Bounds in his book "Prayer and Praying Men", wrote "Elijah 
learned new and higher lessons of prayer while hidden away by 
God and with God . . " This statement is certainly also true of its 
author. E. M. Bounds was a man hidden away by God and with 
God in prayer. During his lifetime he never attracted a large 
following or gained the success and reputation that one might 
expect. After forty-six years of faithful ministry he still was virtually
unknown. Out of the eight classics on prayer he wrote, only two 
were published during his lifetime. Though hidden and unrecognized 
while alive, E.M. Bounds is now considered by most evangelicals 
as the most prolific and fervent author on the subject of prayer. 

E. M. Bounds was born on August 15th, 1835 and died on August 
24th, 1913. Some may be surprised by this fact, assuming Bounds 
to be a contemporary author, because of his clear and forthright 
writing style. As a young man E. M. Bounds practiced law until 
feeling called to the ministry. He was ordained a Methodist minister 
in 1859. E. M. Bounds also served as a Confederate Army Chaplain 
during the Civil War. As a result he was captured and held as a 
prisoner of war for a short time. After his incarceration, Bounds 
returned to Franklin, Tennessee, where he and Confederate Troops 
had suffered a bloody defeat. Bounds could not forget about Franklin, 
where so many had been ravaged by the Civil War. "When Brother 
Bounds came to Franklin he found the Church in a wretched state". 
Immediately he sought out a half dozen men who really believed in 
the power of prayer. Every Tuesday night they got on their knees 
to pray for revival, for themselves, the Church and the town. "For 
over a year this faithful band called upon the Lord until God finally 
answered by fire. The revival came down without any previous 
announcement or plan, and without the pastor sending for an 
evangelist to help him." 

It became increasingly apparent that E. M. Bounds was gifted in 
building and reviving the Church. This prophet of prayer often made 
preachers uncomfortable with his call for holiness and his attacks 
on lusting for money, prestige and power. "His constant call for 
revival annoyed those who believed that the Church was essentially 
sound . . ." God gave him a great prayer commission, requiring 
daily intercession. He labored in prayer for the sanctification of 
preachers, revival of the Church in North America and the spread 
of holiness among professing Christians. He spent a minimum of 
three to four hours a day in fervent prayer. "Sometimes the 
venerable mystic would lie flat on his back and talk to God; but 
many hours were spent on his knees or lying face down where he 
could be heard weeping . . ."   

W. H. Hodge, who is responsible for putting most of Bounds' 
writings into print, gives us some personal insights into Bounds' 
life. He writes, "I have been among many ministers and slept in 
the same room with them for several years. They prayed, but I 
was never impressed with any special praying among them until 
one day a small man with gray hair and an eye like an eagle came 
along. We had a ten day convention. We had some fine preachers 
around the home, and one of them was assigned to my room. I 
was surprised early next morning to see a man bathing himself 
before day and then see him get down and begin to pray. I said to 
myself, 'He will not disturb us, but will soon finish', he kept on 
softly for hours, interceding and weeping softly, for me and my 
indifference, and for all the ministers of God. He spoke the next 
day on prayer. I became interested for I was young in the ministry, 
and had often desired to meet with a man of God that prayed like 
the saints of the Apostolic age. Next morning he was up praying 
again, and for ten days he was up early praying for hours. I 
became intensely interested and thanked God for sending him. 
'At last,' I said, I have found a man that really prays. I shall never 
let him go. He drew me to him with hooks of steel." 

In closing let us consider some of E. M. Bounds' remarks on revival, 
"Revivals are among the charter rights of the Church . . . A revival 
means a heartbroken pastor. A revival means a church on its knees 
confessing its sins - the sins of the individual and of the Church - 
confessing the sins of the times and of the community." 

-Original source-