Closer to God, our Father - more like Christ our Brother ...

Power through Prayer

Introduction to Power
Chapter One. Prayer and my Life
Chapter Two. Preparing to Grow in our Prayer Life
Chapter Three. Discovering what Prayer Means
Chapter Four. A Rainbow of Moods in Prayer
Chapter Five. Overcoming Difficulties
Chapter Six. Aids in Achieving "Disciples' Disciplines"
Chapter Seven. Prayer Changes Things and Persons
Chapter Eight. Toward a Fellowship of Power

By Clarice Bowman and George Harper, Source, Nashville, 1947


Introduction to Power

No power is greater than that which comes through prayer.
Prayer gives the power that can
control the men
who control the machines.
Prayer gives the power that can
rule the men
who rule the world.
Prayer can
set men free.
give them guidance.
save their souls.
save their world.
Whether or not it will
Is up to us.
Our decisions must be made
Quickly. Time is running out.

Clarice Bowman and George Harper: This book is written with that sense of urgency. Some youth and youth leaders may hear the challenge and take heed. That is the prayer out of which this writing is born.

"I believe that we shall soon witness a new religious movement, which will sweep over our sad and disillusioned world as the early Christian movement swept over that ancient Greco-Roman world, bringing spiritual insight, moral vigor, and therefore a revival of courage, hope and happiness...

"The new religious movement will start with a comparatively few individuals mostly of humble birth and station who will somehow recover that vision of the Glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ which in centuries past has once and again brought courage and hope to ... the world...

"Naturally they will not be content with things as they are.

* * * * *

"It is likely, therefore, that many of them will be called upon to endure persecution. All manner of evil will be spoken against them falsely for Christ's sake... I anticipate that in not a few bitter and terrible ways history will repeat itself. But this also I firmly believe: As a result of this new religious movement, there will presently appear in the lives of increasing numbers of people a new courage, a new hope and a new happiness. Believing that the glory of God has shone in the face of Jesus Christ, that what dwells eternally at the heart of things is not brute force, but love, men will become courageous. They will also become hopeful. And then, as they devote all that they have and are to a cause which they consider greater than self and dearer than life, they will develop a kind and degree of happiness comparable to that which in those early Christians led Tertullian to say, `The Church is the one thing in the world that always rejoices.'" Tittle, 1933

How to Use this Book .....

We didn't have to write this book. That is, in one way we didn't. Nobody told us to. But our hearts made us want to share something of what prayer means to us, before it is too late.

You don't have to read this book. Why did you pick it up? What do you hope to receive from it?

This writing is addressed to anyone who feels the need of prayer in his life. It is not for church crowds alone, but for anybody, especially for beginners in prayer life.

This book will not argue with you. For its purpose is not so much to inform or convince, as to set your feet on an upward trail that you will never want to leave. What you find here is but a beginning. Let the great saints and leaders of the Christian faith take you by the hand and lead you farther.

That this Writing may Serve You -

1. First, have a talk.with yourself. Ask yourself, "What are my ideas about prayer at present?" "In what kind of God do I believe?" "What have been my three most meaningful prayer experiences that I can remember?" "What made them meaningful?" "What causes me to want to pray?" "When have my prayers seemed to fail?" "Why?" "Exactly what are my prayer needs?"

Wait a minute! What about our purposes, even in reading a book on power through prayer. Is it the power you crave? A more magnetic personality? Adequacy for the demands you face? Then stop right here and pray that God may cleanse your heart of all self-seeking. Wherever people try to use prayer for their own selfish ends, they block the way for God's power to come in and transform their lives. Seek ye first, God ... and all these things will be added unto you.

2. Hold conversation in your mind with the authors. They may be mistaken. Think through. Decide. Make ideas your own. Relate them to similar experiences in your life. No one can tell another all. Don't let anything here set a pattern that will stunt your growth. You and your God must find your own pathways together.

3. Use other resources, especially the Bible. Choose some saint or leader; feel fellowship with him; write down some of his secrets of prayer. Expose your mind to ever larger thoughts.

4. Keep a spiritual diary. At times, write your prayer thoughts, or describe your experiences, or note down impulses that come to you for service action. But avoid the habit of looking inward, or of taking your spiritual pulse. Record as you go, but keep going forward. Look always to God, the Author and Finisher.

5. Discuss with friends. Find older friends in whom you have confidence. Share with friends your own age. But don't expect them to make your quest for you. Don't lean too much. Each has his own quest to make.

6. Pray. The only way to learn to pray is to pray - and the only way to learn to pray well is to pray much. Don't let reading about prayer (even reading this book) become an escape from real prayer. Reach forth spiritually. Jesus the Christ beckons yonder, "Come up higher." (Luke 14:10)

7. Relate your prayer always to your living. Real prayer involves the person-as-a-whole: your attitudes; your use of time; what you do with your money; how you treat your family and friends; the stand you are willing to take on issues such as race relations, economics, liquor traffic, nationalism; what you are willing to do and give for God.

8. Prepare to wrestle. Prayer involves more than passively enjoying God. Sometimes it tests, stings awake, sends out to hard tasks. Growth in prayer costs. "Whoever would come after me, let him take up his cross and follow." (Mark 8:34)

9. Learn directly from God. Beyond all human helps, both personal or written, He has something to teach you.

10. Make it lifelong. Spiritual heights are attained, not by sudden spurts now and then, but by steady continuous climbing.


References:

Bremer, Harold. Message to the National Conference of the Methodist Youth Fellowship.

Dr. Allen Knight Chalmers, The Commonplace Prodigal. New York. Henry, Holt and Company. 1934. pp.24-41.

Chalmers, A. K. Adventuring in Prayer. Westminster Press, Philadelphia, 1942, p. 15.

Day, A. E. Discipline and Discovery. The Upper Room, Nashville, Tenn. 1947. p. 24.

D. J. Fleming, The World At One In Prayer.

Geer, Owen. Christ's Pathway to Power. Methodist Publishing House.

Dorothy Harper. POWER. National Conference of the Methodist Youth Fellowship, Nashville, Tennessee.

Axling, William. Kagawa. Harper and Brothers, New York, N. Y. 1932.

Thomas Kelly. Testament of Devotion. Harper and Brothers, New York, 1941. Used by permission.

Kirkland, Winifred. Let Us Pray. Harper and Brothers. 1938. p. 19.

Frank C. Laubach Prayer, the Mightiest Force in the World.Fleming H. Revell Company. New York. 1946.

Frank Laubach. The Game of Minutes. Student Volunteer Movement. (Pamphlet)

Muriel Lester, A Way of Life (pamphlet). Voorhis School Craft shops, San Dimas, California. p. 4.

POWER. National Conference of the Methodist Youth Fellowship, Nashville, Tennessee.

Radcliffe, L. J. Article, "Six Marks of Mature Prayer," motive, April, 1946.

Ronald Sinclair. When We Pray. London: A. R. Mowbray. 1932.

Tittle, E.F. A World that Cannot Be Shaken. Harper and Brothers. New York. 1933.

Tittle, E.F. The Lord's Prayer. Abingdon-Cokesbury. Nashville. 1942.


Closer to God, our Father - more like Christ our Brother ...

Power through Prayer

Introduction to Power
Chapter One. Prayer and my Life
Chapter Two. Preparing to Grow in our Prayer Life
Chapter Three. Discovering what Prayer Means
Chapter Four. A Rainbow of Moods in Prayer
Chapter Five. Overcoming Difficulties
Chapter Six. Aids in Achieving "Disciples' Disciplines"
Chapter Seven. Prayer Changes Things and Persons
Chapter Eight. Toward a Fellowship of Power

By Clarice Bowman and George Harper, Source, Nashville, 1947


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