Thursday, January 24, 2013
Furr in His Teeth
A recently received email pointed me to still another dead guy, one I should have included in my listing of 19th century spiritual giants who have influenced my own faith journey. The original three all came from the same region of the world. George Muller and Hudson Taylor were English and while Oswald Chambers spent time in England, he was born in Scotland. This fourth spiritual influence was E. M. Bounds (1835-1917). Born Edward McKendree Bounds, he was born in Missouri and died in Washington, Georgia where he lived the last 17 years of his life. Like the other three 19th century dead guys, Bounds had no idea that his ministry would extend beyond his lifetime into another century.
As a young man, Bounds worked as a lawyer. At age 24 he was called to preach. He served churches and as a Confederate Army Chaplain was imprisoned twice during the Civil War. His later years were spent teaching and writing about prayer. His teaching was not about what he had learned from books, but what he had learned on his knees. His habit was to arise every morning at four o'clock to pray to God because the cares of the world were so heavy upon him. One of his writings, a compilation of his work entitled E. M. Bounds on Prayer, is over 600 pages long. I have kept it close for years and the young woman who wrote the email reads it as well, amazed that a writing over a hundred years old touches her the way it does.
Certainly, books about prayer abound. Most authors of spiritual writings tackle the subject at one time or another. But, in my spiritual journey, none can take the place of what this 19th century American dead guy wrote. Every page is immersed in the Word. Stories of countless prayer giants fill the pages providing powerful inspiration. But, most of all, it is obvious the author practiced what he preached. Someone once said, "If you are going to send us someone to teach us how to hunt rabbits, he better have furr in his teeth." E. M. Bounds had furr in his teeth.