A Prayer that Hasn’t Changed
I have been compiling a collection of prayer quotes from lesser-known authors. As I was preparing to donate my collection of five hundred books on prayer to the Southwestern Baptist Seminary Library, I got to wondering who all these authors were. A few were recognizable, but most were unknown, at least to me. I decided to scan all the books before releasing them, to see what I, or some previous owner, had underlined or highlighted, thus my collection of quotes. One of my favorite quotes is from a book published in 1954 entitled, “The Practice and Power of Prayer” by John Sutherland Bonnell, whose name I did not immediately recognize. A bit of Google research reminded me that he was the twenty-six-year pastor of the Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church in New York City, whose Sunday sermons were regularly reported in the New York newspapers. The quote: “The secret of the victorious march of the Early Church across the Roman world is found in its belief in and practice of prayer . . . These early Christians were spiritual conductors, and God manifested himself mightily in their lives . . . The need of the hour in our churches is more prayer . . . that they may become a pulsating, dynamic, spiritual power.” The quote could have come from any pastor, of any church, in any denomination, in any location, in any day. The need of the hour in today’s churches is still “prayer, that produces a pulsating, dynamic spiritual power.” The need of the hour in our churches is still “more prayer . . . that they may become a pulsating, dynamic, spiritual power.” After all, “The urgent request of a righteous person is very powerful in its effect” (James 5:16, HCSB).