The Prayer Life of E. M. Bounds by Kevin M. Thomas
EM Bounds: “Henry Martyn laments that want of private devotional reading and shortness of prayer through incessant sermon-making had produced much strangeness between God and his soul.’ He judges that he had dedicated too much time to public ministrations and too little to private communion with God. He was much impressed with the need of setting apart times for fasting and to devote times to for solemn prayer. Resulting from this he records Was assisted this morning to pray for two hours.'”–E. M. B.
Kevin M Thomas’ Explanation: EM Bounds begins this work speaking of the lament of an Anglican priest named Henry Martyn (February 18, 1781 – October 16, 1812) who also was a missionary to India and Persia. Henry Martyn was saddened that his own personal life was short on devotional reading and exhibited a “shortness of prayer”. He blamed the never ending demand on his time to prepare next week’s sermon.
Pastors, Prayer and Sermon Preparation
Even today so many pastors are sidetracked from prayer with sermon preparation. The demands of preaching week after week can take a toll on the preacher’s personal life and prayer life, if he or she is not careful. Bounds stated that Martyn believed that his “incessant sermon-making” had made his soul a stranger to God. He admitted that he had spent too much time doing public ministry and invested too little quiet time communing with God. Consequently, he felt compelled to set aside times for prayer and fasting.
Likewise, we too much set aside adequate time for prayer and avoid the daily distractions from prayer.
(CLASSICS Revisited #1: Book 6: Weapons of Prayer – PRAYERLESSNESS IN THE PULPIT by EM BOUNDS)