May 19, 2008

Prayers for the Preacher

Each week I have a little prayer routine I go through as I prepare my sermon on Thursday and Friday, and as I prepare to deliver it on Sunday morning. I originally began the routine after getting hold of another (much more godly) man’s sermon preparation prayer list. I shared that list with you a few years back. Since that time I have honed the requests to suit my specific needs and weaknesses—compiling the list , below in which every prayer starts with a ‘P’ to help me remember them when my list is not open before me!

Perhaps it will be helpful to you, as you pray for your own pastor. And I would love if you might pray these things for me as I teach Genesis 1-11 and Hebrews in Ethiopia, beginning this Friday! So pray that the preacher might be...

Prophetic. That he might have a word from the Lord to deliver to you; that he might not preach the product of his own wisdom, and that which merely flows from his own reason; for this is poor, heartless preaching.*

Penetrating. That he might see the deep truths of God rather than simply floating around the surface; that he might feed the people with the kernel rather than settling for the husk.

Personal. That the Lord may preach it into his own heart, both when he studies, and when he preaches. If this is lacking, he will be a mere road-sign that points the way to others, but never moves a foot itself.*

Passionate. That his soul might be affected with the case of the people to whom he preaches, and inflamed with zeal for the glory of his Master. If these are wanting, it will be tongue preaching, but not heart preaching.*

Patient. That, in delivery, he might methodically work his way through his notes, staying on course; but leaving ample room for God to interject things he may not have seen in study.

Perspicuous. That he would speak in such a way as to make himself and the passage clear; that his words and organization might not cloud the Scriptures, but elucidate them.

Praying, with you, that you’d receive, and I'd give, God's best!

*These points are paraphrased from Thomas Boston’s The Art of Manfishing published in 1998 by Christian Focus Publications. The original date of printing was 1773, 41 years after Boston’s death.

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