E.M. Bounds was was born on August 15th, 1835 in a small town in Missouri. At nineteen he became a lawyer and practiced for several years after which he felt a call to the ministry. Ultimately he became a chaplain in the confederate army. After the war he was pastor of several Methodist churches and over the years wrote a number of books on prayer. It has been said that no man since the apostles has left such a rich inheritance on the life of prayer. The first chapter of his first book was entitled ‘The Force that Shapes the World’.

“The prayers of God’s saints are the capital stock in heaven by which Christ carries on His great work upon the earth. Great throes and mighty convulsions in the world have come about as a result of these prayers. The earth is changed, revolutionized; angels move on more powerful, more rapid wings; and God’s policy is shaped when the prayers of His people are more numerous and more efficient.

The most important lesson we can learn is how to pray. Indeed, we must pray so that our prayers take hold of God. The man who has done the most and the best praying is the most immortal, because prayers do not die. Perhaps the lips that uttered them are closed in death, or the heart that felt them may have ceased to beat, but the prayers live before God, and God’s heart is set on them. Prayers outlive the lives of those who uttered them ~ outlive a generation, outlive an age, outlive a world.

Prayer is no fitful, short-lived thing. It is no voice crying unheard and unheeded in the silence. It is a voice that goes into God’s ear, and it lives as long as God’s ear is open to holy pleas, as long as God’s heart is alive to holy things.”

Father, I stretch my hands to Thee,
No other help I know;
If thou withdraw Thyself from me,
Ah, whither shall I go? . . . (Father, I stretch My Hands to Thee)