Preacher and Prayer by E. M. Bounds

Published by Del Williams Media. 2012.

The beloved writer on prayer, E. M. Bounds, has a special message for those who preach God’s Word.

Review: The author’s purpose for Preacher and Prayer was to communicate that “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 project God’s cause in this world” (9). Preaching must come from the overflow of living a holy life. Great preachers who are mighty in the pulpit are first mighty in their prayer lives.
Bound’s writing is rooted in Scripture. Throughout each chapter the reader finds encouraging words, exhortations, and illustrations from God’s Word woven into the text. The author noted the individual disciplines of prayer reflected in the lives of renowned preachers. These practices included spending several hours in daily prayer, perseverance in the discipline of spending time in God’s presence, and rising very early to be able to practice this discipline. David Brainerd was one such example. The author discussed “unction” in preachers for several chapters. Unction was defined as divine power that sanctifies preaching to produce spiritual results, but the author believed that this unction only comes through much prayer. Bounds ended his book with a call to be preachers who restore the breach of prayer in the Church.
Since Bounds lived in the 19th century, the language style of the book is a challenging read in some sections. His use of vocabulary and word order are unconventional, and the reader will have to decipher portions of archaic language. Overall, though, the reader comes away with a great urgency for prayer-not just to pray about a sermon-but to live a life of holy prayer from which the sermon will overflow. Christian leaders [and teachers!] should not study Scripture in order to think up good sermons to proclaim for God; rather, they should pray and allow their ministry of proclamation of God’s Word to flow out of time with God.
Added by Trina Dofflemyer on July 31, 2014