How To Pray Before You Preach
For many years I have seen articles by H.B. Charles Jr. and always enjoyed his insights. However, the other day I dug a bit deeper and came across his podcast and have really found it enjoyable and very practical. This post is from his podcast “What I Pray When I Preach”. I have added to his outline with some of my own thoughts.
What I Pray When I Preach:
1) Faithfulness –“Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction.” (2 Tim 4:2)
The content of preaching is what makes it Christian preaching. There are many “talks” that come across pulpits that are mostly “motivational speaking” with an odd Scripture thrown in for good measure.
“Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.” (2 Timothy 2:15)
2) Clarity – “Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.” (Ephesians 6:19-20)
If there is a mist in the pulpit there will be a fog in the pew. Some people like the fog in fact those people have a holy term for the fog, “deep preaching”. I just call it confusion. Charles had a great line to sum up this point, “The old timers nod and affirm the truth you have preached and the new comers understand the truth.”
3) Authority “…built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone.” (Ephesians 2:20)
A speaker can learn many techniques to engage, move and connect with an audience. In fact as Ministers we bring a certain amount of credibility into the pulpit but techniques and credibility are only valuable if we are standing on the authority of the Word.
“And we also thank God continually because, when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as a human word, but as it actually is, the word of God, which is indeed at work in you who believe.” (1 Thessalonians 2:13)
4) Passion “For when I preach the gospel, I cannot boast, since I am compelled to preach. Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel!” (1 Corinthians 9:16)
Pray for the heat, if you have no passion for the message then you’re not ready to preach it. Every message needs heat and light, both are important. Don’t sound like a reporter reading from a teleprompter, you are not a paid spokesperson but a satisfied customer of the Gospel. Preaching on hell sound bring a tear to your eye and preaching on heaven should bring a smile.
Passion = “Logic on fire.” (Martin Lloyd Jones)
5) Wisdom “ He is the one we proclaim, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone fully mature in Christ.” (Colossians 1:28)
In a world of “relative truth” we need more wisdom than ever before when it comes to moving people into Christian maturity. Wisdom in knowing the season our church is in and knowing the mood of our people. Wisdom in being Biblical, relevant and practical all at the same time. Finally, we need wisdom to filter out the noise of life and hear the Spirit first.
“It is possible for the preacher to speak the message, use up a portion of time, give an altar call, and still not accomplish the intended purpose of the sermon.”
6) Humility – “For what we preach is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake.” (2 Corinthians 4:5)
When you consider the above 5 items humility should automatically ensue. All the techniques in the world are not as attractive as the power of humility. John the Baptist had power because he had the right attitude. “He must become greater and greater, and I must become less and less.” (John 3:30)
“The person who get to big for his britches will eventually be exposed in the end.”
7) Liberty “Take the brakes of me” can’t say what it is but you know when it’s not there.
How about you? What do you pray before you preach? Leave a comment and let’s learn together.