The name of E. M. Bounds is familiar to anyone who has an interest in prayer. In a world awash in books that jam the isles of bookstores everywhere, few will even begin to survive the lifetime of the authors, but that is not true of E. M. Bounds. After a century, many of his books are still in print. Their long life is a testimony to the timelessness of the prayer lessons he learned from his own deep Christian spirituality.
In view of the popularity of E. M. Bounds writings, it seems incredible that so little about him has been published. To remedy that amazing state of affairs, Lyle W. Dorsett has read every scrap of paper related to Bounds, and the family has made available for the first time a private collection of the Bounds correspondence. From that, Dorsett wrote this account of Bounds' life.
- I was fortune enough to...
I was fortune enough to listen to this book for free as part of the Christianity.com audio-book reviewer program. You can download the audio-book from this link:
This is a short book about the life of a Godly by humble man. Although before reading this book, I had never even heard of E.M. Bounds, his life and ministry has become an inspiration. His rock solid faith in God, his regular 3 hour morning prayer devotionals, his struggle through losing a young wife and 2 young children, have given me a new vision for what God could do in my life.
Not being an American, I was lost a little in the story on the civil war, but was called higher by putting myself in Bound's shoes and considering my own actions in his circumstances.
After hearing how this man lived, it makes you want to rush out and buy his books, to see how you can imitate his faith.
Don't expect an entertaining book that you won't be able to put down, because this book is not like that, it is very ordinary, just like I would imagine the man himself to be.
I totally recommend this book to people who want to grow in their faith in Christ, his provision, and how to live the Christian life.
- Lyle Dorsett's short book on the...
Lyle Dorsett's short book on the life of E.M.Bounds was very enlightening. After listening to it you see a man who wasn't "successful" in the worlds eyes but spiritually the impact his life had on "the few" he mentored was tremendous. Dorsett didn't write a lot about Bounds but what he wrote was significant. It isn't a challenging book by any means, but because of it I want to read E.M.Bounds books. Jonathon Mayrows' narration of the book was great and pleasant to listen to.
- I was originally introduced to EM...
I was originally introduced to EM Bounds by Lyle Dorsett when I was a student at Wheaton College. Dorsett spoke to a summer missions group that I was a part of and suggested we read several books. One of those books was Power in Prayer by EM Bounds. I really do not remember much from the first reading. But I got enough out of it that that I have re-read Power Through Prayer and several other of Bounds’ books.
Because there was no real biography (outside of a couple of paragraphs here and there) Lyle Dorsett decided to write a short biography. It was first published sometime in the late 1980s and then re-printed for the last time in 1991. It is a short booklet, only about 70 pages. There is very little original source material to base a longer biography on.
In some ways it is surprising that more is not known about a man that has had at least one of his 11 books almost continually in print for the last 100 years.
What is known is that EM Bounds was a successful lawyer when he was convicted by the Holy Spirit to a deeper spiritual life. Within months he shut down his law practice and started studying scripture full time. Within a year, he was ordained and serving at a church about 40 miles from his home in Shelbyville, Missouri. This was 1859. The church was part of the Methodist Episcopal denomination, which was in process of a denominational split over slavery. The church was built with local funds and built only after the church officially joined the breakaway Methodist Episcopal South.
The original Methodist Episcopal denomination used the courts to claim ownership of all breakaway churches. EM Bounds was arrested and held for 18 months without trial when he objected to his congregation being ejected from their church. He was released as part of a prisoner exchange program with the Confederacy that had since formed. He was not given a chance to join the Union, in spite of the fact that his two brothers were Union soldiers and that he was on record as being against slavery.
Bounds became a Confederate Chaplain and served as a chaplain until he was re-captured after the battle of Franklin. He was then released after several months after taking a US loyalty oath. He was not yet 30 at this time.
After the war he was a pastor in Franklin, TN and then St Louis before being tapped as the associate Editor of the Methodist Episcopal denominational newspaper. He was first married in St Louis when he and his wife were 41 years old. After a decade of marriage, Bounds’ wife died. He remarried his wife’s cousin, his wife’s dying wish. Within the next three years he had two more children and lost two boys from the first marriage.
By the 1880s, Bounds, was forced to move in with his new in-laws. He resigned from his job at the denominational newspaper over a disagreement with the denomination (and his boss) about whether the Methodist Episcopal church should have officially licensed evangelists (he supported it).
The rest of his life he lived in Washington, GA (in his in-law’s home) in obscurity. His normal day started at 4 AM with prayer until 7. Then breakfast and the rest of the morning was spent in writing and prayer until noon and other work after lunch. It was here that he wrote all of his books. Bounds might be still in obscurity except that a New York pastor found a copy of one of his books and initiated a friendship. Bounds mentored him over almost 10 years before his death. After Bounds’ death all of his books were published or republished.
This little booklet is out of print, so it is only really available in audio version right now.
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- I listened to the free one...
I listened to the free one minute thirty seconds intro to see if I wanted to download the audiobook of E.M. Bounds. I was disappointed. About one minute twenty seconds of this example download was taken up by introducing the credits, authors, speakers, etc. Therefore with only about 10-12 seconds left, it left me little time to really get a good sample of this possibly good audiobook. Because of this I will have to pass on downloading what maybe a good book. I do not want to misuse my credits. Thank you.
- I’ve heard the name of E.M....
I’ve heard the name of E.M. Bounds many times, though before reading E.M. Bounds: Man of Prayer by Lyle Dorsett, I could not have told you anything about him. Bounds, a moderately influential Methodist minister and author from the late nineteenth and early twentieth century’s, served God in Missouri, Tennessee, and Georgia while authoring a dozen books, several of which are still in print today. Bounds is most widely-known for his works on prayer.
Dorsett is concise and to-the-point in his journey through the life of E.M. Bounds. Sadly, there is simply not much factual data for him to have gathered. Happily, Dorsett does not take it upon himself to bring in a great deal of speculation and imagination to make his small book a larger work. He describes Bounds’ life, marriages (once widowed), and ministerial career.
What most interested me was Dorsett's description of Bounds’ involvement in the Methodist church in the south during the initial rise of theological liberalism in the 1890s. Bounds was unwilling to accept the low view of Scripture that was invading Methodism from Europe.
While interesting, I cannot say that this book inspired me. If anything, Dorsett’s work has made me want to pick up one of Bounds’ books on prayer. But, for the most part, the book feels like reading a long and informative magazine article about the life of a name you kind of know, but not very well.
If you have read Bounds and would like to know his life story, I’d guess that this is about the best book you could turn to for that knowledge. If you just like reading biographies, even those without a great deal of drama, this is a fine choice. Otherwise, you might not find this book riveting.
The audio recording of this book from www.christianaudio.com is very well done. I found this narrator one of the easiest to listen to that I’ve heard. And, because the book is short, it only required a download of 2 files—much better than the large number of files in some books.