Fruitfulness by Word & Prayer

by Frank Jones


"[Andrew Bonar] did not believe in any short-cut to holiness and usefulness in the work of God. He knew that the one and only way to grow in grace and in the knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ was daily and hourly communion with the Father and the Son. ... The main lesson we learn from the life of all the great saints of God, is that what is real in the life of man has more affinity with the solitude of the closet than with the stir of outward things. If reality in religion is to be reached again by the present generation of Christians, then the outward must occupy less of our time and the inward more. There must be more privacy than Christians seem now to think needful; there must be more waiting upon God in the secret place; there must be more unbroken fellowship with the Father and the Son. ... 'God works most by holy instruments,' writes Bonar in one place, and again, 'I am more than ever convinced that unholiness lies at the root of our little success.' As early as 1842 we find him saying that he had learned by experience that it is not 'much labour' but 'much prayer' that is the only means to success. He was aware that multiplying words was not the way to win souls. ... In his latter years, when asked to tell a gathering of young ministers the secret of a consecrated life, his simple answer was, 'I can ply say to my  young brethren that for forty years there has not been a day that I have not had access to the Mercy-Seat.'" (Bonar, Andrew. Diary & Life, xii- xiii)