Who: E. M. Bounds was a chaplain in the Confederate Army and held a pastorate in Franklin, Tennessee. During his time in Tennessee, he led a spiritual revival and eventually began an itinerant ministry. He only published two books during his lifetime, but nine others were arranged from manuscripts and published after his death—most of them on prayer. He spent three hours a day in prayer and emphasizes a life of prayer as the one essential of the Christian life.
First printed under the title Preacher and Prayer (1907), E. M. Bounds’ Power through Prayer is a modern classic and the best book we have found on prayer. I hesitate to call it a “favorite” because the book cannot be perused on a whim. All of Bounds’ books drip with spiritual imperative.
All of Bounds’ books are available cheaply as paperbacks, in numerous (and monstrous) nine-book compilations, as ebooks, or in PDF form (free). Most are also available as audiobooks.
This book deserves six out of five stars, and it has lost nothing in a hundred years of printing. I tell my friends that other books on prayer make you wonder or ponder about prayer; Bounds’ books make you run to your prayer closet. He holds up prayer in its true relation, as the key mark of a true Christian, the greatest factor in successful ministry, and the first priority of the life of devotion.
Power through Prayer is actually a later expansion of Preacher and Prayer, which was published during his lifetime. As the earlier title made clear, many of the chapters focus on the preacher’s responsibility in prayer. This could distract some believers, but does not detract from the book’s force or meaning.
“Men are God’s method. The Church is looking for better methods; God is looking for better men.” (ch. 1)
“Crucified preaching only can give life. Crucified preaching can come only from a crucified man.” (ch. 2)
“Talking to men for God is a great thing, but talking to God for men is greater still. He will never talk well and with real success to men for God who has not learned how to talk to God for men.” (ch. 4)
“There is no real prayer without devotion, no devotion without prayer.” (ch. 10)
Related: Purpose in Prayer, The Necessity of Prayer, The Possibilities of Prayer, etc.