E.M. (Edward McKendree) Bounds (1835-1913) was born on August 15, 1835, in a small northeastern Missouri town. He attended a one-room school in Shelbyville, Missouri where his father served as a county clerk, and he was admitted to the bar shortly before he reached the age of nineteen. An avid reader of the Scriptures and an ardent admirer of John Wesley's sermons, E.M. Bounds practiced law until the age of twenty-four, when he suddenly felt called to preach the Gospel.
Since the time of the apostles, no man besides E.M. Bounds has left such a rich inheritance of research into the life of prayer. Prayer was as natural to him as breathing the air. He made prayer first and foremost in his life because he knew it as the strongest link between man and God. In the time of E.M. Bounds, human weakness, through prayer, could access the power of the overcoming Son of God, Jesus Christ. The same is true to this day.