Critical Review of E.M. Bounds Power Through Prayer
E.M. Bounds wrote a wonderful book devoted to prayer entitled Power Through Prayer. This book encourages the preacher to become a true prayer warrior. E.M. Bounds has written many books on prayer, encouraging Christians to devote their life to prayer. Since the writer is coming from a preacher background himself, one can clearly see the passion he has for prayer in his life. Fellow preachers will hopefully be encouraged by this and want to devote their life to prayer, so that they will better their preaching. Bounds exemplifies through his work that preaching has no power without prayer. He also sets forth the idea that prayer is the life-giving force behind our work for God. In reading this book, it inspires one to pray more and be able to be more effective in their ministry.
In the beginning of the book, Bounds expresses that we depend on God just as much as he depends on us. Our relationship with Christ is simple, but requires a lot of communication. He shows why it is so important to be in communication and prayer with Christ when preparing a sermon. Bounds says that, "Prayer is the mightiest weapon." (p. 46) What he means by this is that prayer gives life and force to all. He goes on to talk about how a true ministry is of God, and how this ministry can be most effective if we are in communication with God.
This book is a great inspiration for the women that are having doubts about going into the ministry or marrying a preacher. The book covers equipment to help us once we are in the ministry and new to a congregation, how we should adjust to moving and leaving everything behind. For instance, we as wives will sense we are so alone and have nobody to talk to you while our husband is at work. Another great lesson we learn in this book as wives is how to work together as a team with our husbands. “Where your treasure is, your heart is also” (15). This is a major subject, we absorb in this book that a preacher’s family is not rich and a preacher’s family is certainly the most watched, but ignored family there is in most of the occasions. And, we see the qualifications the preacher’s wife should have or develop in order to help her spouse and help her in situations that she may find herself. She must be a happy, outgoing, positive minded, caring and last but not least a loving person.
talks about the importance of sincere prayer as well. He talks of faith and forgivness, all of
Book Review of The Path of Prayer: Four Sermons on Prayer by St. Theophan the Recluse
... By having them journal their prayers to God daily and encouraging them to read these entries frequently to refresh the memories of those prayers and seek for those that are answered allows for each client to find their way to a spiritual understanding that is not necessarily demonstrated by my impact, but that of God Himself. I am available to answer questions that pertain to the bible, but allow clients to interpret the teaching to their lives and recovery. These approaches allow clients to not rely on my experiences, but on their own encounters and knowledge. Gently guiding them to hear and see how God works in a client’s life is a rewarding and satisfying experience.
Paul has given an extraordinary of example of humbleness to those who preach and teach the Gospel. Although, the Apostle Paul was well known prepared on any theological subject, he went to Jerusalem to meet with other apostles to verify that his message was alienated with the Gospel. Therefore, pastors and church leaders should look intentionally for spiritual mentors that help them to grow in their knowledge of the Gospel. (121, Habermas)
The preacher’s transition is, focus first, and most, on God. The times David did, giants fell. The days he didn’t, David did.
...the go-betweens must be silent. Silence and speech define each other and like prayer and proclamation they are perfect for each other (pgs. 95-96). Our won authority to speak is rooted in our ability to remain silent; she states she expects to spend the rest of her life learning about the proper relationship between human speech and the silence of God. She also refers to the homiletical restraint in terms of economy, courtesy, and reverence in the language we use (pg. 99). The least the preacher can do is to reach for his or her own words, fresh from world in which ordinary people live, something that comes from the preachers own mind and heart, be authentic (pg. 108). God has hidden his face to increase our sense of loss until we are so hungry and lonely for God that we do something about it. Our words are too fragile and a Gods silence is too deep. (pgs. 120-121).
Philosophy of Ministry: God's desires come first, I must always live my ministry God's way. I must live as a Christian (1 Corinthians 9:27) I must have a proper relationship of surrender to the Leader. In my personal life or in the Church I must understand that Christ is Head and Chief Shepherd (Ephesians 1:22, Hebrews 13:20). The “management” of Church is about relationships with God and Man, not just maintaining a social organization.
The shepherd and sheep relationship is the best illustration for the relationship between pastor and parishioners. When Jesus asked Simon Peter does he love him three times and said to him “Feed my sheep”, the shepherd and flock relationship has been set. Since Jesus is our good shepherd (Jn. 10:11a), he laid out a good example for us to follow - to lay down his life for the sheep. (Jn. 10:11b) Thus, the wellness of both in and out of the parishioners should always be the concern in the pastors’ hearts. Soul care for the people is essential. Christian friendship is the foundation of Christian soul care. Pastoral ministry including preaching, teaching, and worship forms the broad context of pastoral counseling. Pastoral care is within pastoral ministry but broader than pastoral counseling. God’s love is the source and motivation. Within the pastoral care, there are spiritual direction and pastoral
Another aspect of pastoral ministry is that every pastor is unique. God has gifted each pastor differently and with his own style. It is imperative that a pastor use the gifts that he has to bear witness about Christ. It is also important to preach Christ and not self. It is crucial that a pastor understand who he is, accept himself, and to develop the gifts given by God. Too often, preachers compare themselves to others and envy what they do not have. That is dangerous and sinful. One must accept the gifts given by God and to use them for His glory.