E. M. Bounds
1835 - 1913
Author of many books on prayerby Rit Nosotro First Published:: 2003
Author of many profound books on prayer, Edward McKendree Bounds was born and raised in the small town Shelbyville, Missouri. He was a Methodist minister, who despite the popularity and fame he has achieved from his books, was almost unknown when he was alive. Even though he only had two of his eight books on prayer published while he was alive, he felt called to serve God and it didn’t matter to him that he wasn’t popular.
Born on August 15, 1835 he was raised in the county of Shelby, Missouri. Not much is known about him until he was apprenticed as a lawyer at a young age. He was submitted to the bar before he realized he was being called to serve as a minister. He was ordained as a minister in the year 1859. During the Civil War, Bounds served as a chaplain to the Confederate Army. Because he was the chaplain he was held captive as a prisoner of war for a year and a half.
After the Civil War he traveled to Franklin, Tennessee, the town in which he was captured in, to help a church he had found in a broken mess. It was really amazing that he chose to return after the Confederates received a terrible bloody defeat there. The town obviously contained horrible memories from when he was captured but he still served when he was called to serve there. Seeing this church in such distress, he immediately called together a group of six men who believed in prayer. Once a week he would gather with these six men and they would pray for a great revival for the church and the entire town. During his ministry Bounds often irritated preachers because he called for holiness for everyone, and they knew he included them. After the revival came without any warning, Bounds knew he was gifted in healing the Church.
The man who is known for putting Bounds books into print, W. H. Hodge, states that when he met Bounds they were roomed together at a conference. Every morning Bounds would get up early and pray aloud for hours, he didn’t care if he woke people up as he wept and prayed for anything and everything. Hodge was new to the ministry and had been praying for a man who firmly believed in prayer to help him strengthen his walk with God. As he was awoken during every morning of the convention by Bounds’ prayer, he slowly realized this man was sent by God to help Hodge. Hodge was so touched by Bounds that after his death he gathered all Bounds’ manuscripts on prayer and submitted them for publication.
During the last 19 years of his life, Bounds spent most of it in prayer as he wrote his eight books of prayer that would not be published until after his death. When he was not writing, he still helped churches find revival and turn fully towards God. Bounds died at the age of 77 on August 24, 1913. Bounds has since become famous for his many writings on prayer that are still helping Christians strengthen their faith today.